Friday, September 29, 2006

Another new car

I bought a new car for $900 from Ida F. I'm not sure why I did, because the car was a complete wreck. It was twisted, not just six, but seven ways from Sunday, and in general, I was not too happy with my purchase. However, I thought, "Hey, I can fix this! It'll be great when I'm done!"

This car was a Chevy Cavalier. It was a cute little car, or at least it had been. Some repairs had been done, but not enough, and the repairs were more like temporary patches and some "quick fixes".

The front side had been torn up, and, in an effort to hide this, the frame of the car and the seats had all been reversed. When you were inside the car, you sat forward, looking out the rear window, with the back of the front seat against your chest. The steering wheel was in front of the seat as you had your chest against it, or behind it, if you prefer to think about it like that. You had to reach around the seat to grab the steering wheel.

On the new front, which was the trunk, there were two makeshift headlights. These headlights made the Cavalier look rather like an old tractor with the bubble headlights. I don't quite know how they worked with the brake lights, because they had not been transferred to the back, so all the lights were on the front (back?) of the car.

Also, where the bumper should have been was a huge gap. There was simply no bumper there at all. And this car was classified as fixed...

Needless to say, I flipped out just a little bit...

I walked around the car, and saw all of these changes. I thought to myself, I need to get inside this car. How would I fit?

The first thing I noticed was that the transmission gears and shifter had been inverted. It was in the following pattern:

2 4 R
1 3 5

The first three gears were the only working gears. However, all three of them hit the reverse gear -- which sent the car forward when you were sitting in it. Shifting gears was thus, rather pointless.

There was one good thing: the frame was in perfect condition, in spite of the fact that the body was virtually destroyed. I woke up thinking gleefully about all the customization possibilities (and nightmares)...

Friday, September 08, 2006

"Jesus Dream"

I had this dream some time ago. It was long before this post, and long before I even started a blog. A lot of people already know about this dream. If you've already heard it, and this will be your Nth time, you can skip this post...

Before I get started, there were two major influences on this dream: Mel Gibson's the Passion of the Christ, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, just so you know up front. Yes, they mix -- quite well...

I should also warn people who have not heard this dream before that it portrays me as Jesus Christ. If you believe that this concept is offensive, then please, stop reading. I don't want to have an angry person on my hands because of pieces of what my mind made up. Thus, without further ado, I bring you probably the weirdest dream I've ever had, as well as the most vivid, and probably the most popular...

+ + +

The sun was beginning to set as I ran. I looked around me, and all I saw was a desert, much like the area outside the city of Jerusalem. In fact, that's where I was. It was rocky, and I was running away from the city. I stayed near any mountains that were there, because I didn't want them to find me.

I had been running for some time, and I was beginning to feel it. I raced into the shade of a much larger mountain, but I still didn't stop. I stumbled and fell, but I got right back up and kept running. I looked down at my clothes. I wondered why I was wearing a long robe and sandals. I barely like sandals, and I don't own a robe except for my bathrobe. And what was I doing in Jerusalem?

The dream camera panned out, and I got to looked at myself running along the mountainside. I was a man who looked a lot like Jesus. A whole lot. I suddenly realized what I was doing: I was running from the Jews. But why? Simple: I didn't just look like Jesus, I was Him. I had lived the full life, and I had ridden triumphantly into Jerusalem on the foal of the ass. I had the Last Supper with the disciples, but I could not go any further. I was absolutely terrified, because I knew what was to come next.

I continued running as fast as I could along the rocky desert terrain. (Picture, if you will, terrain very much like what was in the movie Passion of the Christ.) I ran with no end in sight, but desperate to find a hiding place -- anything to get away. Something had to be out there, but I had no idea where it was, or even for what I was looking. All I knew is that it had to hide me, and I had to find it.

The drums indicating the moving men behind me could be heard faintly in the distance. There was no arguing whether or not they were on my trail. Time was all that separated me from them -- time and, I hoped, a great distance. The resolve kicked in again: keep running. Panicking over my inability to hide, I switched courses, running around the base of a mountain towards another one.

There! Something was in the distance! I know it -- I saw it! But I couldn't tell what it was. I listened intently as I ran: the drums were still there, my pursuers had not given up on me already. For all I know, they would be on top of me in no time flat. For all I know, they already saw me. That last thought pumped adrenaline through my veins and I put on a burst of speed -- as fast as one can run in sandals. And, suddenly, I saw my hiding place. It was gloriously simple -- no one would ever think to look for me there!

So, I ran towards this, my miracle of miracles, my saving hiding place. It was a porta potty, large and blue with a white top and sides, hidden very securely between a rock and a dead tree (and yet ironically towering over both), on the side of a desert rocky mountain. "Surely," I thought to myself, "no one will think to look for me here."

I hope you picked up the dripping sarcasm in the previous paragraph. I tried to drench it as best I could. Remember that in spite of the fact that my mind is making me the Son of God, I'm still the fool you know and tolerate.

So, I hurl myself into this porta potty, and slam the door behind me. It had no bad odors, so it was either new, freshly cleaned, or had a nice air circulation system -- this is all beside the point, I know, but I know that some of you are actually wondering just this.

Anyway, so myself + hurled in + no scent = security. Kind of like blue 'n' white + grey rocks + dead trees + desert foliage + pebbles + rocky desert mountain and similar terrain = camouflage. Capishe? Right. We're back on track.

So, I'm sitting there, giving my legs a rest, and I open the door just a crack. I can still hear the drums, but they are definitely louder. I watched as the dust became stirred up, as pebbles started to bounce, and I knew that the men were right on top of me. And sure enough, there they were. They were running in full Jewish army uniform, straight from the Passion, but in the orcish formation from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I watched in horror as I saw more soldiers then I ever expected to see come jogging around the mountain side. There was a literal army after me. They were all just jogging, and doing some sort of cadence, but I didn't really want to open the door wider to hear it.

After a minute or so of watching lines of men jog by, the end was in sight. The rear was brought up by one man, who was scanning the land. He saw the porta potty, and kept moving. He suddenly stopped, and stared directly at it, as though just noticing it for the first time -- as though seeing me watch him from the barely open door.

About this time, the porta potty started playing music: Angels by Gregorian was blasting out all over this desert region. This was a wonderful addition to my hiding place.

I stepped quickly back from the door. Had he seen me? I realized that any sudden movement would definitely give my position away, so I peered through the crack again. The man looked puzzled. He surveyed the area and compared it to the porta potty. I prayed that he was just wondering how an American invention from almost 2000 years in the future would end up in his time. He got the look on his face, and ran ahead. I could only assume the worst. He had seen me, and he was reporting me to the chief. I had to form a plan, and quickly. I know! There is a side door inside this porta potty that I would go through, and hide in the extra compartment! Genius!

"Side door?" you may ask, and rightfully so. How many porta potties do you know have these two compartments? None. I should invent one. Why, you may ask? Easy. Say you really have to go to the bafroom, but the darn thing is in use. All you have to do is open the main compartment door, say, "Excuse me, just coming through," and then make your way into the secondary compartment. That's why. The added convenience of two places for the price of one. Never mind that the person in the main compartment will be caught pants down -- all that matters is your relief. Besides that, they'll forgive you. Place this as an advertisement in a 50's style B&W TV commercial and you've got yourself a hit! Sure to bring in the bookoo bucks! We'll call it the Porta-Tony, since it was my idea.


The camera now traveled out of my oh-so-clever hiding place, and hovered high in the air (about 15-20 stories up, I'd guess), high enough to see that the army had jogged their way in a large circle around my hiding place, cutting off any escape for me. There was no way out now. I'd be lucky to survive for the next few minutes -- of course, I didn't know this at the time, because I was still contemplating how to escape.

As the Jewish army completed its circle, it closed in. Time was up, and there was no escaping it anymore for me. Suddenly, elves (yes, another LOTR reference) appeared, but they weren't regular elves. These elves moved as fast as lightning, and they were as powerful as it, too. All you could see was lightning bolts being shot across the center of the circle, and knocking down soldiers left and right. These lightning bolts were the elven arrows being fired faster than you could see and with insane accuracy. However, it seemed that as soon as they had arrived, they left, because their quivers were empty. They had killed more than half of the army, but that still left a huge number of men left to contend with. As these men were helping their fallen comrades, the earth trembled slightly. They looked around -- nothing. Yet the earth shook again, harder this time. Puzzled, they looked at the ground, and behold: another quake, much more powerful than the first two, knocked the army off their feet!

Each time the army tried to regain its footing, another thunderous pulse could be heard on the ground. It was rather like that scene from Jurassic Park, where the footsteps of the approaching Tyrannosaurus Rex can be seen rippling a glass of water, except that this was the land that was moving. Anyway, the camera is still at its angle, angled down towards the porta potty with the army surrounding it, and the cause of these quakes steps into view. There appears the left shoulder of a massive angel. I'm sorry to say that it was a stereotypical, cartoon, gladiator angel: male, curly blond hair (cut in a longish gladiator style), huge muscles, double-edged sword, and giant golden halo hovering above his head. Don't get me wrong, in this case, Im very glad to have this particular avenging angel's help in the matter.

Anywho, the Jews run for their lives, many stumbling over their own feet, the feet of others, and their fallen comrades as the angel glares down at them. His eyes flash fire as he surveys his opponents, and as the last one of them escapes, he sheathes his sword. He looks at the porta potty that he knows I'm in, waiting for me to come out. (BTW, yes, "Angels" is still playing. In fact, about this time, it has practically reached the climax of the piece.) After waiting a few seconds, he realizes that I'm not goign to come out, so he bends down and picks up the porta potty. He opens the door and -- I'm not there. Realizing the Porta-Tony convenience of two compartments, he then reaches inside, and opens the second door. Surprise! I'm not in there either!

Angels are very intelligent creatures, and this one was no exception. I couldn't run, but I wasn't in either compartment. Where was I? The simple answer: pop the top off this Tony and check it that way. Sure enough, I hadn't fled. I had managed to wedge myself into the space between the blue siding and the white rounded side -- inside the speaker. He grabs me my the scruff of my neck (if I had one -- it was actually by the robe), lifts me out, and holds me up in front of his face. I'm very ashamed of myself, and trying to shrink into my robe at this point, because I know I'm going to get it now.

"What do you think you're doing?" he asks me, in as nice a voice as he can muster, considering how far I had deviated from the Divine Plan. I couldn't answer him -- I was speechless. I tried to think of something, I tried to say something -- no words would come. I only shrugged, and hung my head in shame.

"You do know what you are supposed to be doing right now, right?" he persisted. I could only answer in the affirmative in all truth, but I still could not get any words to form. I only nodded my head, knowing what would come next.

"Then, I ask you again: What do you think you're doing?" I felt like a child. I wanted to say things like, "I don't want to do X, Y, or Z", but I knew that answering so was simply out of the picture. I had a mission to fulfill, and humanity to redeem. Quite literally, all the people of the world depended upon me if they ever wanted to go to heaven, and my fear was denying them this, their last hope.

The angel then looked down at the Porta-Tony he was still holding. Angels had indeed reached the climax of the piece and was bridging with the drums, strings, and bells goign off very loudly, and he turned to me again, with a different expression on his face.

"And why are you listening to this?!"

I had no response. I was taken completely off-guard. I wasn't sure why -- it just started playing. But why was it playing? Oh! I know! It was my alarm clock! I was thrilled that I knew the answer and that I had a good answer for the angel. As I opened my mouth, bursting with a childish pride, to answer him, I froze, because I suddenly realized something:

{pop back to reality: I wake up with a start}

Alarm clock?! Darn it all! It's time to get up!

+ + +

The way that I prefer thinking about this dream is that this is close to what would have happened if I had been chosen to redeem mankind, instead of God. Thus, I skirt the accusations of blasphemy. No, really. If a human being knew what was going to happen, and he knew how much pain he would have to undergo to redeem mankind, he would have to be an extremely holy man to stand his ground. I don't think that I could now, or ever could have in my entire life. Not only would I have been terrified, I would have felt unworthy to actually attempt -- nay, even think to attempt to fill the role of Redeemer of Man. God is truly all-wise in His plans, and not I. My ridiculous sufferings have probably not done much to save a single soul, much less the souls of the entire history of humanity.

Anyway, so on that note, I'll close. This dream has taken me months to type, and I hope you enjoy it. Some of you have heard it before, and others will find this one to be new, and probably unique. I invite your thoughts on the matter, if you have any, in the comments. Before you tell me, though, I know -- I have a superiority complex with delusions of grandeur. I know, I know... :)

God Bless! Happy dreaming!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lord of the Rings Dream

It was the middle of the Quest to destroy the one Ring. The Fellowship had already been disbanded, and Frodo and Sam were on their own. I was part of the defenders of ring, even though I was only a child. There was with us a great wizard, along the lines of Gandalf, but he was dressed entirely in black. There was also a living magic rope (think of it like the magic carpet from Disney's Aladdin) and a timber wolf. As a child, I was not alone with this group. Dad had his old Ford F150 pickup truck, and he and Liz were with me.

The timber wolf and the magic rope had set out on their own way toward the ice queen's palace. Frodo was already on his way there, but he could not take a direct route -- Sauran would be looking for him. Along the same lines, he would be looking for any of his helpers. Thus, the wolf and the rope raced along from where they had indirectly joined the party to the Frozen Wasteland in the North.

I'm using a map to supplement my knowledge of the area. I don't have the thing memorized, but I do recall from point A to point B. In fact, if you look at the map I drew, you'll see the different paths. I'm sorry that I had to edit the map instead of leaving all photos intact like our friends at Le Chasseur Maudit, but I can't be expected to live up to the high standards that they set for reporters everywhere...

BTW, if the map that I edited isn't showing up in this post, blame Blogger. I uploaded it only a few times...

Beginning roughly at Gray Havens (next to the Gulf of Lune, furthest west on the map), Dad, Liz and I hugged the mountain line northward until we shot east to cross the river. Fortunately for us, the river had gotten significantly lower. The lowest part was crossable. Dad charged the truck into it, but forgot to turn on 4x4, so we were stuck. At this point our vehicle was less of a truck than a boat, and wheels don't do a lot submerged in water and not resting on the ground. We drifted along like this until we go to the other side. The river tossed the front end of the truck up, where Liz and I scrambled out. We pulled out our bows and arrows and made mini-harpoons out of them, but to no avail. Dad was finally able to engage the 4x4, and he was able to drive the truck out. We looked back at the way we came -- it was heavily guarded by hostile forces that had chased us once we left the shadow of the mountain. There was no possibility of turning back now.

We then drove northbound along the edge of the river. We encountered an army that was on its way down south to protect the river border we had just crossed. They tried to stop us, but the truck was next to impossible to stop going as fast as it was. Dad drove on through them, plowing through them like they weren't there.

Further ahead, the timber wolf and the rope were also on their way. They were way north of us, and were going across the Ice Bay. This was monitored by the ice queen's forces, and sure enough, one of their security cameras caught them, taking pictures of both the wolf and the rope as they jumped and slid down a short cliff.

The black wizard was already at the Ice Queen's palace, getting a feel as to whether or not she was friendly to the cause. It turned out that she was fairly neutral -- she was uncomfortable with Sauran being the ultimate, because she wanted to be the ultimate, so in a sense, she was on our side. The fact that she had all of us coming to her turf without invitations made her nervous, and so she had sent her armies. The Black Wizard did his best to convince her to call them back and not engage any of us, but she took it to mean that he was trying to bury a threatening situation. She did not take kindly to that, and summoned her guard.

The black wizard made his exit, but there was an attempt to arrest him. He fled, escaping capture. He fled away from the palace by an open route, and returned through magic to his special room in the palace, which (oddly enough) no one knew about, even though it was his room (well, his old room, when he used to work for the ice queen). Using his wizardry, he knew that the rope and the wolf had been detected, and that the queen would not take so kindly to them, so he tried to send them a signal. I woke up with him reaching out telepathically to all the party members... Posted by Picasa