Thursday, August 31, 2006


I dreamed that it was time to get a new car. In the spirit of this, I went to a user car dealership. It was a small dealership, and his selection was very limited. Two cars caught my eye: one was a modified Nissan Sentra, and the other was a 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra.

The Sentra was a red hatchback. (No, the car does not come in a hatchback model.) I looked closely at it. Beneath one of the taillights was a dent, positioned in the same place as the dent that's on the green Sentra that I owned. I looked at the owner and asked him about it. He apparently knew the vehicle's history rather well. He told me that this was the same car that I had owned. Before I had time to contradict him, he told me it's full recent history.

The car had been stolen while it was sitting at Dane's. In an attempt to hide the vehicle, the thief had painted the car, but that wasn't good enough. Thus, he converted the back end into a hatchback. He was still caught, and the car was put up for sale here, because the rightful owner lived in the area.

Stunned into silence, I looked at my old car. Not wishing to go back to the ways of the past, I got the Mustang. A good friend of mine used to own one. I've driven a couple since then, and my interest in Ford's Pony Car has most certainly not gone down. I just wasn't sure how it would fit my lifestyle...

Anyway, I drove the car off the lot, and headed to Christendom. It was late in the evening, so I crashed at Dane's place. Early the next morning, I drove out to Old St. Mary's for a High Mass. The Mustang definitely cut some time off the journey. On the way back, I did more fancy driving, and I really fell in love with the car. My only problem is that there just wasn't enough room for people. Sure, small people could fit in the back, but it just didn't have the leg room that people my size would need for any kind of long drive...

With this in mind, I returned the car to the dealership. The owner wasn't there: instead, there was a sign on the door, saying where he was. Instead of driving the Mustang out, I parked it, put the keys away, took the keys to the Sentra, and drove it over to where the owner was.

We discussed the swap. He agreed with me: the Sentra would fit me better than the Mustang, mostly because it was more economical, and it had more room. I drove him back to the dealership, and we did the swap paperwork.

As I drove the car away, I continued to notice all sorts of cool stuff that had been done. The thief had taken the stereo, but had replaced it with one that was between the front seats. The CD player, tape desk, controls, equalizer, everything was on the driver's right, and conveniently located so that he didn't have to scoot forward to reach the stereo. The dashboard had been replaced: there was no spot for the old stereo anymore, just a slick new dashboard console that offered more leg room underneath. In the back, the passenger seats had the edges cut away, and in the place of where the fabric used to be were thin tower speakers. This provided the car with much better sound than it had before.

I tested the car's speed. It had improved since I drove it last, but it wasn't as good as the Mustang. I'm sure that if I wanted that, I could modify the engine to do just that, but for now, I was just fine with a more economical car.

As I drove to Christendom, enjoying the old made new, I woke up...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Inside a video game

I don't know what I did yesterday that made me dream of this at all. I worked out for about an hour and-a-half, I said my prayers, I put music into Cakewalk, and I watched a couple Homestar Runner clips. My evening menu consisted of two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a small dish of strawberry yogurt. If you can figure out how I got this from all that, be my guest...

Also, a person that I'm sure everyone here knows shows up later. I mean absolutely no offense to this person. Confused? Keep reading...

To start off with, I was playing an old video game, Doom II. I've played the game enough to know most of the levels quite well. The odd thing was that the game looked a lot better than it had ever looked before. I looked around in the game. Everything looked very realistic. I looked down. I saw my feet, and a very sweet gun. I looked back up, surprised, because in Doom II, you never see your feet, and you only see the barrel of your gun. It suddenly hit me: I wasn't playing it. I was the main character! (Justin or Jonathan, are you reading this?) I was holding an old--but still very sweet--rocket launcher, and I was hunting aliens and demons. Sweet. Bring it on!

The nice thing about being in a video game and realizing that it's a video game is that you have a lot more control that you would normally think. It's rather like when you are dreaming but then you realize it's a dream. You can take full control of the dream, by either letting things go as they are, or by simply altering the whole thing.

I began running, something you normally can't do with nine fully-loaded weapons on you, and a backpack containing extra ammo for all of them. If you've ever played Doom II, you know that these aren't just various pistols. Your starting weapon is a pistol, but if you look hard enough, you'll find a chain saw at the very beginning. (If you don't, there's always your fists...) The next weapon is a single-barrel shotgun, followed by a double-barrel shotgun (two separate weapons, and you get to keep both), a chaingun (or a gatlin' gun, depending upon what you what to call it), a rocket launcher, a plasma gun, and a BFG9000 (which takes the ammo of the plasma cannon, using 80 rounds per shot, and dealing sick amounts of damage to everything in the room). And I had the rocket launcher out, loaded and ready to go. What's funny about this is that my personal favorite was the plasma gun, even over the BFG9000...

Anyway, so I went sprinting along this rather familiar looking outdoors area, looking for something evil to blow up. But everywhere I went, there was nothing. It was as though I had already completed the level, but I was missing one key. I do that all the time. I'll just miss one thing in a level, and then after I've killed off everything, I'll run around and pick up all the ammo I missed, while I hunt (and hunt and hunt) for the one hidden key. I kept running around, but there was nothing...

I finally went into a building. There were bodies of the evil ones everywhere -- too bad I missed all the fun. I heard something coming from one of the rooms though, and I readied my launcher. I opened the door, and there was a room full of barons of hell and hell knights. They were all facing away from me. In their midst was a large cyberdemon, who was facing me. In the first instant, it looked like the smaller demons were taking orders from the cyberdemon. Suddenly the cyberdemon, seeing me, opened fire. He hit one of the barons of hell, who did not take kindly to it. The rocket splash damage also hit other demons, who had the same reaction. They started firing their energy balls upon the cyberdemon. I saw a way for this to get ugly. I ran back and forth behind the group. In an attempt to shoot me, the cyberdemon hit more of these barons and knights, causing them all to turn against him. I quickly exited the room, just in case any of them noticed me, and also, to avoid any potential damage.

This part of the dream is one room of an actual level from Doom II.

The rocket fire slowly subsided, and the room became silent with one last explosion. I couldn't tell who had survived from the sounds. When I opened the door to investigate, I saw two barons of hell and a hell knight still alive. Their comrades were all dead. The remaining three turned on me. I fired off a single rocket at them, knocking back the hell knight. Then I realized the power I might have in the game. I put away the rocket launcher and prepared to see what I could do.

As anticipated, the fire didn't stop. The three beings launched their energy balls at me. I caught all three of the energy balls and just held them for a second or two. The beings looked at me in utter disbelief -- I guess no one has ever done that before. They fired off another volley, and I caught them as well. I merged all the energy into one large one, but before I could launch it at them, they had fired off another volley. I knew I could catch the energy, but what else could I do? As the energy approached, I swung my fist, effectively reflecting them all back to their originators. Frustrated, they charged me. I launched the energy ball at them. The force of the energy that I had packed was more powerful then a rocket, and actually blasted them through a wall into the next room. Quite satisfied with my abilities, I sauntered on through the new hole...

...into an office. At the desk sat two burly men, and Therese O. The men were cheesed off, and Therese just sat there letting them rant. From their rantings, it was clear that the two men were the barons, and that Therese had been the knight. In spite of the fact that the knights are inferior to the barons, it was also clear that she was their leader. While they were raving, she was simply sitting behind the desk in the executive chair. It was clear that she was not happy with the situation either, but it was done, and there was nothing that she could do about it.

One of the men came up to me, yelling something. I just stood there was a slight smirk on my face and let him rant. It was about all he could do anyway. As he walked back to the table, I actually began to feel a little sorry for them. The way that the guys were acting, it was as though they had never been defeated, and this was their first taste of something that wasn't victory.

The same guy suddenly spun around and launched a fireball at me. I had been half-expecting it, but wasn't really prepared at this close range. Still, I noticed it, and without moving a muscle, I stopped the fireball dead in its tracks. I sent the fireball back at the guy, but it was only powerful enough to forcibly make him sit down. He started to cry.

I looked at him in disbelief. A baron of hell was crying. His crying started up the other one. I could only think of one response, and it was sarcastic:

"What, do you guys need a hug?"

"Yes," was their response, also taking me by surprise.

Hopefully, I could surprise them all back, so I geve the first one a hug. He cried on my shoulder like a little kid. I've never felt so uncomfortable in my whole life. I shouldn't say that, because the next two were just as awkward. The other guy got up and made a group hug effort, so I offered my other arm to him. The same thing happened. I wondered to myself, "Why did I say yes? These guys ... geez!" When they were finally done, they returned to their seats, sniffling a little. I looked at Therese, who looked rather embarassed by her comrades' behavior. I asked her the same question. The guys piped up, "He's a great hugger!" (Like I said, uncomfortable, but it gets worse.) She said sure, she'll take one. So I hugged her. Her response?

"Eh, he's not that good..."

Feeling extremely awkward, my dream suddenly twisted out of that into a completely different spin. Sadly, I don't remember the second half of the dream. The second half had almost nothing to do with the first half, and I remember waking up feeling a whole lot better than I did when my dream jumped tracks. I just can't remember. I guess I'll have to end on the awkward note and see if it will come back to me...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Uh ... you're what?

I had a very wierd dream last night. There aren't too many details in it, so this should be a pretty quick read...

I was wandering around a mall which I didn't know. I don't know what I was looking for. Suddenly, I stumbled across a very familiar looking face among many others. It was Lizzie, surrounded by a bunch of people I didn't know. She was in a wedding dress, and the men around her were dressed in morning coats and suits. She saw me looking at her with a funny look on my face, and she came running out.

Her: "Anthony! Guess what?"
Me: "No, don't tell me."
Her: "Yes!" And she flashed her wedding band at me, with her engagement ring right behind it.
Me: "You're married. Why are you getting married?"
Her: "Duh! You get married after you've been engaged!"
Me: "I never knew you were engaged! How did this little fact escape the subject of conversation?"
Her: "Oh, you knew."
Me: "No, really, I didn't."
Her: "Sure you did!"
Me: "Lizzie, I would not be reacting like this if I had known you were engaged."
Her: "Well, it doesn't matter. Come celebrate with us!"

And at this point I looked at the crowd. All the men present were aged 45 and over. I looked carefully for the groom. Shocked, I did a double-take, and then for safety reasons, I looked over them all very thoroughly again. Her husband was a gray-haired man, rather on the portly side. You could tell he was very well off by the way that he carried himself.

Me: "Lizzie, how old is your husband?"
Her: "What difference does that make?"
Me: "He's what, 50?"
Her: "Close. He's a bit older."
Me: "Why are you marrying him?"
Her: "Why would anyone marry anyone else?"
I gave her a look.
Her: "Yeah, he is well off, but that's not the main reason!"

I forget what I said at this point, but it was along the lines of the fact that I couldn't celebrate with her, because something about the whole thing seemed really wierd. Of course, Lizzie did not like that answer, and she went away mad at me. I felt awful for saying whatever it was I said and for making her mad, but I couldn't go against my feelings in this matter.

Anyway, she went inside one of the restaraunts in this mall, followed by her entourage. I followed her at a distance. There were no Christendom people at all, nor was her family there. The entire crowd consisted of people about the age of the groomsmen. Some were married, some weren't. It looked like all the attendees were all on the guy's side.

I began to feel extremely uneasy about the whole thing. Right about then, I woke up...