Chinese Triads and Velociraptors

It’s been a while since I’ve had a dream worth sharing on ye olde intertubes. And Halloween is for wacky stuff (and weddings!), right? I had two doozies the other night:

1.) Dreamt that my car — yes, Sir Blimey, the lime green Jeep, skeleton-look-alike, and inspirer of The Jade Skull — was picked up by a tornado and twisted around a few feet. I frantically tried to accelerate away, only to be picked up higher and dumped into a ditch, my car ruined and steaming.

Upon exciting Sir Blimey, I began to run away from said tornado when I found a velociraptor a midst a series of boulders. Living in a society where such things were common, I knew had to run back into the tornado-filled danger zone in order to warn the Hunters (in my dream, I knew they needed a capital H) because it was their duty to destroy the ‘Predators.’

Three of them shuffled me and about thirty other survivors into a creepy abandoned warehouse so as to seal off the exits and protect us. I went with a male Hunter and his lady new-recruit in order to check all of the rickety doors, thinking that being next to a killing machine would prevent the Predator from eating me alive.

Next thing I know, we’re securing a door and a velociraptor looks through the little window, steams up the glass just like in Jurassic Park and we hear a scream as another one eats another Hunter in the stairwell below us.

Once back with the room filled with survivors, I watched in horror as the Predators broke in and started eating people.

Gruesome.

2.) Dreamt that I was in high school with a lovely teacher named Miss Joon Yuen (which is a Korean first name and a Cantonese last name, I know) and my friend had gotten amnesia from breaking her arm. In order to restore her memory, my other friends and I needed to break into a schoolbus in order to concoct a machine to fix memories. We asked Miss Yuen’s permission and she told us to be careful.

Once outside, on our way to the schoolbuses, we had to cross through a tent where the Chinese Triad was hanging out. My red-headed friend snuck in, intent on hacking into the Chinese Triad Internet and saving our amnesiac friend. My brown-haired friend and I tried to stop him, knowing the Triad wouldn’t like it, but we had to sneak in as well to stop him from getting killed.

We got the okay from a spiky-haired Triad member who cleared us through security, only to have to hack into the Internet first and erase everything it had so as to prevent our red-haired friend (who was now buddy-buddy with the Triad leader) from getting in trouble.

Upon exiting, we were accosted by another, sunglassed Triad member who knew that the spiky-haired one had betrayed the entire mafia by letting us in. The dire consequences of this were that my friend, Laura, who was set to marry the spiky-haired Triad member, now had to marry the evil sunglassed one!

Knowing that she was unhappy, not marrying her true love, Miss Yuen intervened, and she was actually an ancient Chinese Fox spirit with blue skin and silver hair!

Before the grand Fox/Triad Wedding Fight, I woke up.

Poop.

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One of these things is not like the other

Sometimes I feel as if I should be a movie director instead of a writer because I’ll get really intense flashes of how something should look that can’t be properly conveyed with mere words. I admit it: I’m a child of the big-budget, flashy CG-ism that has infected movies as of late, so I love the mind-bending realities created by imaginative directions like Guillermo del Toro, Timur Bekmambetov, Spike Jonze, and Peter Jackson James Cameron Jean Pierre Jeunet.

(For example: in my novel, there are flashbacks — the most wonderful exposition pieces ever created by mankind. For each flashback — I take the Forever Knight and Highlander* approach — if I were to be directing a movie, I would focus on a specific body part, say a back or an eyeball or lips and use that as a transition to the past. The camera would zoom into Gwennie’s gray colored iris and watch as the pupil spiraled outward like ink through water and then pan back to reveal a completely different time and setting. Likewise, I would have a scene where Gwennie starts hallucinating and sees a carriage from the 19th century walk down a modern-day street, and everywhere a hoof touches, time ripples outwards in small puddles until the entire shot would turn sepia and be suddenly in the past.)

One of the most memorable and visually striking movies I’ve ever seen is a Japanese flick by the very talented, yet highly disturbing, Takashi Miike called Gozu. He’s best known for Ichi the Killer and Audition, but Gozu is my favorite.

On the surface, it’s a Yazuka coming-of-age movie, but it’s also steeped in Chinese and Buddhist symbolism. Now, I haven’t seen it since it came out seven years ago, and I’ve learned much more about its sources and Mr. Miike’s inspirations since then, so I can only guess what the hilarious, creepy and intense movie is actually trying to say. The image that’s been burned into my mind — in a very long, long list of things that will scar you stick with you — is the ox-headed man as seen on the cover:

Takashi Miike -- like my dreams transposed into real life. And in Japanese. And with sweatier men.

In Chinese mythology, there is the figure of Ox-Head, a guardian of the underworld, sort of like an Anubis-type. To me, this symbolizes the death/rebirth cycle that’s at the heart of Gozu, but more importantly, gives me more fodder to scare the living daylights out of myself. Remember the frangipani dream about the flowers that were symbols of ghosts and death? Guess who made a guest-starring role in my dreams last night?

This was on par with Mr. Fedora and the bear-headed man, only this time Mr. Ox-Head up there was kneeling by my bed and breathing his ring-nosed, Theseus-bashing, Osiris-reincarnating, acrid breath into my face.** I was partly awake, but paralyzed, and I could feel my hair moving with every snort; my eyes must have been open because it was dark and I could see things in my room and just his bare outline. Like the frangipani, Mr. Ox-Head is connected to death, or more specifically, the guardian of the place that happens after death.

Go talk to Haley Joel Osment, m’kay? Oh, how about Jennifer Love Hewitt? Patricia Arquette? FRACKING JOHN EDWARD. Don’t talk to me if you’re dead. Unless you know, you’re undead, but not like a zombie undead, but a vampire undead. And not a 30 Days of Night undead, but a Dracula or a Buffy undead.

It’s either I’m haunted or my subconscious is telling me I really, really want to be a furry.

*Whenever I cut any sort of meat in two with a cleaver, be it a chicken breast or a fish head or even a piece of tofu vaguely shaped to resemble an animal, I pretend to get a quickening. New roommates have learned this the hard awkward way.

**We have a quotations book at the coffee shop where I work and my co-worker (hi, Stevie! And Stevie’s mom!) has many, many of her sayings jotted down for the hilarity of future generations. When I told her about my latest dream, she said, “It’s like heaven and hell — in your face!” That immediately got written down. Another gem? “Is today still yesterday?”

Ethan Hawke and Kristen Bell

I’m hoping that my headline up there will spark some rumors on the Enquirer front, so if you see any ridiculous love triangles involving those two, you know you heard it here first. If my novel-writing biz doesn’t pan out, I know I’ll always have a place writing about the sordid details of the intricacies of love lives of people I don’t even know. Actually that place sounds like more of a circle of hell than an aspiring career opportunity.

In all reality bizarro-land, I had a dream involving those two. So if this writing-thing really doesn’t work out, I’ll have a lucrative job writing about the imaginary love lives of people I don’t even know but occasionally dream about. There was a floating city made out of ships — true story, this comes from a book called The Scar that I will write a post about in the upcoming week — and underneath lived a contingency of vampires. They were like the Lost Boys, and unfortunately, I don’t mean the Jason Patric awesomeness, but rather the Peter Pan affair. Grungy and hungry and whiny and all about 10; they kept to the shadows created by the floating city.

I was Ethan Hawke’s character from Daybreakers right down to the crumpled white shirt and the disdain of my career having fallen so low.* Only the city above was awash with humans, trying to get rid of their vampire problem like my 10th grade English teacher trying to get rid of the feral cats from beneath our mobile classroom. They tried digging a volcano whereas Mr. Baker tried rat poison. They were slightly more effective.

I, as a vampire scientist, was able to disguise my vampire-state and quietly sabotaged the volcano, hopefully by replacing their baking soda with crack cocaine anthrax sugar. However, after the failure to explode the underground vampires, the humans called in pilot Kristen Bell to fly out of the floating city and get help from naval neighbors.

(To my knowledge Kristen Bell has never been in a vampire movie, something that needs to be remedied immediately.)

I deftly — being that I am suave Ethan Hawke with golden eyes and a raggedly handsome goatee — climb on board, in order to use my deft, golden-eyed sabotage powers granted to me by my goatee, and eventually win Kristen Bell’s favors by asking if she wants to watch anime with me.

It was about a Monty Python-esque bunny and a horse who liked to kick people wearing South African World Cup football paint on their faces. The two unlikely animal heroes then met the gods of death. This, though somewhat unusual for my dream, is not unusual for anime. And all of this was amusing and distracting enough for Kristen Bell to forget her mission and hopefully make out with me.

So, I guess I can add this to my ever-growing list of awkward-conversations-to-have-when-I-meet-celebrities-I-have-crushes-on. I mean you, Kristen Bell. Not you, Ethan Hawke. Get lost.

*I love Daybreakers. It rates, on the scale of good vampire movies (starting with The Lost Boys) to bad vampire movies (ending with The Lost Boys II: The Tribe), somewhere toward the upper-middle end, right after Blade II but right before Underworld. You think I’m joking. I have charts, graphs, an illustration and scientific evidence that corroborates.

Frangipani

I don’t know what a frangipani is. At least, I didn’t until earlier this morning. See, I woke up from my somewhat restless 4-hour limbo between waking and sleeping that happens every Saturday night to Sunday day because I have to get up at 5:30 when I usually go to bed at 2:00, and had that word stuck in my head.

Have I heard this word before? Maybe, but not in recent memory. However, I knew how to spell it and that it actually existed somewhere, despite the protests of others who dismissed me as making yet another neologism, sort of like going into a coma and waking up speaking a completely different language. I looked it up and it’s another name for a plumeria, a rather beautiful flower I associate with Hawaii. Was I thinking about Hawaii? Nope. Not even a Snakes on a Plane reference within the last month — which sure has made my co-workers happier than usual as of late.

My only logical conclusion is that it was put there by Mr. Fedora. (My incessant chattering about fedoras, however, has maybe taken the luster off of the Snakes on a Plane quietude.) “Who’s that?” you may ask, thinking that this is a character from Lost or something. (May I make a side note about how over Lost I am and everyone’s incessant chatter about that? See, it works both ways.)

Mr. Fedora is my ghost. Yes, like Phantom Dennis haunts Cordelia, the young child whose hands got cut off in an industrial accident in the early 20th century at my coffee shop haunts my co-workers, and like Annie haunts the sets of Being Human, Mr. Fedora haunts my basement.

In order for this to be fully explained, however, you have to learn one thing about me and remember another. I get night terrors, or the cooler-sounding pavor nocturnus, which means that sometimes I’ll partially regain consciousness whilst dreaming so that my dreams are projected onto real-life and scare the complete and utter be-jeezy-creezy outta me. I had one two nights ago where there was a man standing at the bottom of my bed with a bear’s head, turning his head from left to right and being as creepy as a David Lynch movie. Next to him, though, was a dude in a fedora, pale as a black-and-white movie, leering at me like he wanted to eat my soul.

Fast-forward to my pseudo sleep last night and I had a dream where I was in a 60s convertible Buick, going down the aisles of a hardware store and who should be there in the back driver’s side seat, but Mr. Fedora, all sepia-colored whereas everything else was vibrantly colored. (Charlie “Detective Kumquat” Crews from the brilliant-yet-cancelled Life was there, which is, surprisingly, not the first time I’ve had a dream about him, and his hair was as ridiculously red as ever.) He was still staring, but this time more concerned with the lady in green to his right than devouring my immortal essence.

What you have to remember about me is that there were, until recently, four dudes in my basement, two feet from my room, cleaning out my crawl-space and disturbing things that maybe shouldn’t have been disturbed.

I’ve got a theory. Construction guys — totally ruining my moment at a romance novel and turning it into a Stephen King horrorfest — dug up Mr. Fedora’s unhallowed remains and now he haunts my dreams, telling me to write him into my novel holding a bunch of…really pretty….flowers. Lamest. Horror. Novel. Ever.

Nevermind.

Wait, wikipedia to the rescue again? Frangipani are associated with death, funerals, and ghosts? And even an Indonesian vampire? I am both incredibly heebie-jeebied out and suddenly inspired to add a little fedora’d frangipani to the mix.

Destiny Revealed

I had a weird dream last night. (Twat-waffle! Sorry, sometimes it’s like Tourettes.) And this dream, unlike most, actually revealed my destiny.

It all started with an 80s beauty salon/consignment shop run by four Swedish ladies. Three of them would stand in the display window and switch out their heads so that they could display rotating hairstyles every fifteen minutes or so. I walked into their shop — and hopefully there was a little bell that tinged when I did — and went into the back where I found this sweet leather jacket. Lo and behold, once the leather jacket was puteth upon the shoulders of me, your humble and star-tinged narrator, a bright light shoneth above, pointing out the path kismet hath chosen. Again, we’re hoping that there was an angelic choir or something, but I digress…eth.

All of a sudden a giant winged demon appeared above me — something like out of Fantasia — and a magical skeleton sword appeared in my hand. It was sort of like Zavulon’s spine-sword from Night Watch only skinnier and red, more like a rapier than a broadsword. It had become my destiny, the moment I put on the sweet leather jacket, to rid the world of all of the foul and sulphur-filled demons belched from Hell. I defeated the Mephistopheles wannabe pretty easily and then received thanks from the Swedish ladies and a sweet dagger, also in the red bone motif.

I’d like to think that I’m kind of more like Buffy than the average citizen now because of this. I’ll be taking demon-destroying requests in the comments box shortly. Or maybe I’ll just change my voicemail message to: “Thank you for calling MK Sauer, I help the helpless. If that’s YOU, please leave a message.”

PS: I would have posted earlier but there was a clustercuss of events, a perfect storm, if you will, that prevented my posting. 1.) My internet was out. The studly Comcast dude saw to its replacement in the form of a new modem. That hindered me greatly. 2.) Lots of work. Lots and lots of work. And not the fun kind where I ‘work’ at my typing speed by playing Typer Shark, but the coffee shop related work. 3.) Insomnia. That third one’s no excuse because it happens all the time, but I like to throw it in there for consistency’s sake. 4.) A new episode of *coughchokethevampirediariescoughchoke* that documentary on modern politics that’s super interesting and makes me a better and more intelligent person.

PPS: It’s Mothers’ Day, so the tag of “your mom” will finally fit. And the peasants rejoiced…

A Sort of Late-Night Quickie

Well, it’s not an actual quickie, but more related to the other thing you do in bed: sleep. Get your mind out of the gutter.

This is a recycled dream because I’ve slept maybe four hours out of the last two days, so I haven’t had any time to dream. But, this one’s good, so don’t be disappointed or anything.

I had tickets to the Muse concert a few weeks back, but they got stuck up in the mountains because of some snow, so it got postponed until October.* The night before, however, I dreamt that I was on my way to the concert having already driven two hours (on a highway that mysteriously looked like the one you use to get to Disneyland in California. Not that I’ve driven that one a lot. Nope, not at all. *whistles* Pavlov’s dog? Get lost.) when I realized I had forgotten my ticket. I drove back, only to wind up in an Intergalactic fight between some Jedi and Stormtroopers. (I know Jedi and Stormtroopers have to be capitalized, but I thought Intergalactic needed it too. What? I’m German.)

After reluctantly picking up a light-saber, I murmured, “This better be quick,” and started chopping off limbs. Let’s hope I used my best Harrison Ford* voice, eh? The highway had been transformed into a cavern-looking place like the Grand Canyon, but still retained the white dashes of the highway. I never actually got to the concert, so the dream was rather prophetic, no?

* What happens when you put October and Harrison Ford together? That’s right: LADY HAN SOLO, STEAMPUNK STYLE. This is my Halloween costume this year. I’ll post pictures, or else it won’t happen.

Misery Loves Company That’s Invited

I don’t sleep well. In fact, I maybe manage four to five hours a night. The causes are numerous and varied, but we’ll just chalk it up to an overactive brain and insomnia. However, I always know when I’ve slept because I’ll dream. My dreams are notorious for being creepy, crazy, and cr-grisly and I almost always remember them with a ridiculous degree of detail.

This is generally how I start conversations at work with coworkers now, and even how I update my Facebook status regularly. The words “I had a weird dream last night,” are statistically the most probable to come out of my mouth. Well, those and “vampire,” “twat-waffle” and “Humperdinck,” though not necessarily in that order or really even in the same sentence. (“Holy hog-wrangling Humperdincks, Batman! That vampire is totally being a twittering twat-waffle!” My other job is a catch-phrase writer for DC Comics.) My somnolent thoughts have become such an ingrained personality trait, that if I don’t wake up with a sense of utter confusion like I had just watched three seasons of Lost in Portuguese, then I feel the sudden need to eat jalapeno cheese-covered cinnamon rolls three minutes before falling asleep to try to artificially induce the wackiness.

The priceless vision perceived by me last night? I was a vampire Kathy Bates from Misery, flying over suburbia in broad daylight. Once I landed, I was approached by a young blonde girl who was petitioning to Save the Whales and I rudely dismissed her. Her brunette friend, apparently not seeing I had just bypassed her compatriot, tried to approach me as well and I told her off. (The word “twat-waffle” or “douche-canoe” may or may not have been used. I would assume that vampire Annie Wilkes would talk like me since she’s a figment of my imagination, but I’ve also had dreams in Russian and Arabic and since I have no speech pattern unique to me in those languages, it may not follow that even imaginary, undead Annie Wilkes sounds anything like me.)

After that, I felt bad — a serious case of the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire-cooties coming over me, I suppose — and flew the two of them to the local cemetery where I tried to make amends by making fun of their ex-boyfriends with them.

Let’s re-cap. I’m given the awesome powers of the vampire and the ankle-breaking, cringe-inducing, heebie jeebie-causing, googly-eyed vacant stare of a Kathy Bates’ role that garners at least a 8.2 on the wiggins scale and I spend it making fun of boys. I mean, at least I’m in a cemetery, which is kind of creepy, but it was still in broad daylight. Talk about wasted opportunities. This happens to me often. I once dreamt I was Wonder Woman and what did I do? I slept. My sidekick — uh, we’ll call her Wonder Strumpet — tried waking me up to try to save the world, but I just rolled over and went back to bed while I was actually in bed dreaming about sleeping. Hold on, I think Keanu Reeves’ head just exploded. I’ll be back after I clean that up.