Archive for 2007

But Last Night, I Dreamt of You

Posted by on Sunday, 30 December, 2007

Strange as it seems
There’s been a run of crazy dreams
And a man who can interpret could go far
…Could become a star
— Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

For the last few months I have been having a lot of vivid dreams. Almost everyday I wake up and think, now what was that all about? Often there will be a random appearance by someone I have not seen in a long time. They usually play no significant part in the dream, they just happen to be there. A couple of the dreams were oddly in third person, like watching a movie. Most of them, if not outright disturbing in violence or content, are puzzling that such things would be on my mind at all. I do not recall all of the details now, but…

I dreamt:

  • … that there had been a mistake, and my mother was really alive after all. But we had already had funerals; we spread ashes… I had to ask the obvious question, where on earth had she been for the last nine months? [Of course, upon waking, what nine months?! It’s been three years!]
  • … that I became so depressed, that I decided to lie under a table and never move again.
  • … that I was at a party with my church group, and I decided to slip out, and never go home, choosing instead to live on the streets. This dream then changed so that it no longer involved me at all, but instead, twin teenage girls one of whom ran away as before, the other living life as normal. They met again years later in a restaurant, where there was some instance of child abuse involving some of other the patrons. The “normal” girl was unable to act, but the girl hardened by life on the street did not hesitate to attack, and possibly kill, the offending parent.
  • … that I returned to my job at the YMCA, but I could not remember how to do anything. I don’t recall the details now, but something I was working on kept accidentally banging into the wall, which eventually caused the entire building to collapse.
  • … that one of the ladies in my church group became engaged to, as it turned out, a childhood friend of hers from “back home.” Panicked by what I perceived to be a rapidly decreasing number of eligible ladies, I was prompted to become engaged myself to someone whom I had previously been reluctant to approach.
  • … that I was in a play at Prospect Park. A certain ex-girlfriend with long red hair was there. (Do I even have an ex-girlfriend with long red hair?) But I was not exactly clear on my roll, and failed to go onstage at all when I was supposed to. The play seemed to carry on without me though, and [as above], I lay down backstage and never wanted to move again.
  • … of a boy who went away to visit someone or other. While there, the malicious neighbor boys attempted to kill him, yet he survived, and grew up to be a mass murderer using Star Wars level technology that he had invented himself. However, at the very end, someone discovered that his black trench coat was actually an alien life form that was controlling his mind.
  • … of a carnival where one of the attractions was for people to go into an underground room where they would somehow be launched into the air and fly for a long way until landing in a swimming pool. I wanted to do it, but I had missed the last available sign up time. Then I encountered my uberexgirlfriend, if you will, an amalgamation of all of them without being any one. She had previously been covered in black body paint for some reason. Someone else had cleaned most of it off of her, but she came to me to get a few parts that were missed, in particular the backs of her knees. However, she was so skinny that I could see her bones and I was repulsed.
  • … of an astronaut who had lost some bet with Buzz Aldrin. As a result, he could never leave his house, and apparently, not use the bathroom either. He would therefore urinate in bottles, and because he was a famous astronaut, people could take him a bottle or glass and get some souvenir urine. I was surprised to discover that my sister had acquired three champagne glasses of the stuff.
  • … of a road trip with several of the guys from my church group. At one point, we were sitting down in a booth at a restaurant, when out of nowhere that guy with the fro said, “Maybe you still have a chance with _____.” Instinctively, we all turned to her brother [who coincidently had not been part of the dream until that very moment.] He merely shrugged a sort of “Could be, what do I know?” look. Even in the dream I was confused and responded, “Man, that was like a year ago. Why would you even bring that up?”
  • … that I was at a Stater Bros up in Forest Falls. A crew was filming a “test scene” for the new Batman movie. A stuntman drove a motorcycle down one of the aisles, through a checkout lane and out the door. The people who were shopping at the time were offered small parts in the movie to compensate for the inconvenience. When I was giving my contact information, I stated my cell phone number, but then I could not for the life of me remember my address, or even whether I had recently moved to a place in the mountains or still lived down in Redlands.
  • … that something was happening at the Redlands Bowl, but I don’t remember anything about that part. When it was over, I went back to my new apartment, which was located underneath the library. Strangely, though I had obviously already rented it, and my stuff was already moved in, I had never actually seen it or been inside myself. First I had to figure out how to actually get to it, and I had to hurry, as the library was imminently closing. I wander through the library, at one point coming across a small room set up in a colonial era style. Someone I knew from the circus was there in a rocking chair, but I did not particularly want to talk to her so I hurried on. Eventually I found a stairwell leading down to my apartment. Upon entering, the kitchen was quite normal. The rest of the apartment featured an elaborate series of rooms of various heights (or perhaps I should say “lowths”), some of which I had to stoop through, and some I actually had to crawl through on my stomach. Each room had some sort of task that I had to complete before going on to the next. The only ones I can remember now was a room filled with tiny musical instruments, in which I had to play a song on a violin about six inches long; and the final room had a gigantic stuffed hippopotamus with a smooth pink body made of vinyl or whatever and furry white limbs and head. It turned out it was alive and refused to let me pass so I had to tickle it into submission.
  • … that I was at a party and received a short text-message apology from a female acquaintance. I did not understand it at first, but it gradually became clear that I had asked her out and she had turned me down, but now had changed her mind. Unfortunately, at this party, I was already on the way toward hooking up with a different girl. So I was left in a very awkward situation, made all the more urgent by the fact that this other girl was, um, pressuring me to do something that I was actually quite comfortable with.
  • … that I was a Chinese guy (but not the main one) in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Frequently present in scenes throughout the movie, but contributing absolutely nothing to the plot.
  • … on Christmas Day [as, indeed, it would have been if I were awake] that as we were gathering (for whatever reason) in my sister’s bed room, my father said simply, “Kathy,” and my mother stepped in through the window. But, (having apparently learned something from last time, I guess) I refused to believe that this actually was my mother and I would not talk to this impostor. Later, my grandmother arrived, at which point I decided that my whole understanding of life and death and basically reality itself was inherently flawed.
  • … that for some reason I was taking a shower somewhere other than my house
    . As I was almost finished I realized that without my noticing, that water level had risen to about shoulder level. The tiled basin part was set into the ground such that there were a few steps leading down to it, but still, the water level should never have been able to get that high without overflowing. I then discovered that around the top edges was almost invisible plexiglass, which I had somehow stepped over without ever knowing was there. There was also plexiglass covering the drain. Like this shower was designed to drown people?
  • … that a certain doctor friend of mine informed me that one could become a taste tester for Little Caesar’s, and instead of paying for your pizza, they would pay you $50 to try whatever new thing they had. So I went there, but this was not something they advertised or even discussed. I guess there was code word or phrase or something, and I had no idea what it was. So I left. Incidentally, I had bought a new drum set that I had left at someone’s house and needed to go get, but for some reason I was now walking home with my truck still back at Little Caesar’s. So I decided it was best to continue home, get my bike, go back to get my truck, then go get the drum set, which would have been a fine plan except that now it was starting to rain, which is obviously detrimental to walking, biking, and transporting drumsets.
  • … that I was at a Jeopardy show. I was not actually one of the contestants, but some other people and I were still standing onstage. One of the contestants picked a clue which led to a secret bonus round where everyone had to sing. Everyone also had a handfull of dry spaghetti noodles that they had to wave in the air at a certain part of the song. If the contestant could get everyone to do it correctly, he would win.
  • … [my absolute favorite of the lot] that I had returned from college to the house where I grew up, except that there had been some sort of major disaster and the whole area [whether it be the city, state, or entire country, I’m not sure] was without power and people were being shot in the streets. There was a very pregnant lady]at the house, and the child was either mine or a relative of hers that had sexually abuse her. However, we told people it was mine because she became (understandably) very upset when I tried to explain this to someone else. [Yeah, even in my own dreams I’m an insensitive prick.] A guy arrived at the house and informed us that there was a medical unit set up on the next block, but the only way to get there was to walk, because no one had gasoline anymore. Reluctantly we went, knowing that there was a strong possibility of getting shot along the way. [I was extremely disappointed to wake up from that one, because, Holy Crap! Living in a world like that a man would have THINGS TO DO.]

I could not help but wonder, amongst this weirdness and parade of randomness, how come I never dream of that person. But finally… I dreamt that she had a boyfriend. He had a two foot long piece of black metal stuck through his abdomen, which signified that he was an agent of some important organization. It did not actually inhibit his movement in any way, it was simply “The Sign.” He seemed like an honorable fellow so, uh, good for her I guess.

Catching Up

Posted by on Thursday, 13 December, 2007

I was recently contacted by someone whom I have not seen in a great long while. It has forced me to really think, how have I been? How would I sum up the last several years in a couple of paragraphs? Well…

I made a valiant yet foolhardy effort to marry a girl that I barely knew, which never-the-less lead to such significant life changes as abandoning hobbies like drinking and guitar playing in favor of Bible study and church attendance, where I was stalked/harassed twice and met, then subsequently lost, the love of my life while never actually finding the “truth” for which I was searching.

Meanwhile, I took longer than most to get a degree that I don’t use from a university I hated in a field that I don’t care about, all the while my family has been dying off at a consistent rate of one per year. I got a part time job running sound and video at a mountain retreat center where christians who can afford such things can go to get a Jesus high for the weekend, and I spend the rest of my days sleeping, reading webcomics, and idly wondering why God felt the need to spare my life in the accident that totaled my car. I guess it just wasn’t my turn this year.

And I bought a bicycle for $10. That should bring us up to speed.

You Know It's October When…

Posted by on Tuesday, 9 October, 2007

It’s funeral time. I don’t know what to say anymore. This is getting old. I imagine that most people my age have more living ancestors than I do.

Dorothy Marti Ziilch
December 10, 1920 – October 7, 2007


Posted by on Friday, 14 September, 2007

A friend of mine is getting married. Something about it has been bothering me for a while. It’s not that I having anything against the bride, because I know the family and all. Perhaps it’s simply that they became engaged after knowing each other for less than a year and now they will be married about a year and half after the day they met. I know in my own experience, it has often taken two or three years for the blinders to come off and realize that this girl isn’t so right for me after all. Perhaps I am slower than most. Or after all look who’s talking. Perhaps I am merely envious that he is succeeding where I have failed.

Another friend is having a rather informal wedding later this year. I do not know enough of the story there to comment. But the whole thing makes me wonder, am I making this harder than it needs to be? I am but a man, no more, no less. There could be many young ladies who would want one such as me. It’s just that my upbringing and experience have heavily skewed my perception of a woman’s expectations.

Awhile ago I heard a woman’s testimony on the radio. Part of it included the fact that four months after becoming a Christian, she became engaged to a man that she had “never kissed and never dated.” (It struck me as unusual that she specified those two separately, but perhaps I am more old-fashioned than I had realized.) It also struck me that I am SO going to do that… This whole dating thing is crap. I have fallen flat on my face enough times. All or nothing, baby.

THAT is your big master plan? You actually think you have better chances of success with a cold proposal? That is just about the worst idea ever. Not to mention the fact that I have serious blood diamond issues.

Not that it matters. Because I read the Bible.

I could not count how many times that I have heard directed toward Christian singles something like, “Don’t worry, God has someone for you,” or, “Even though you are single, God can still use you.” That is excrement. For you non-christians out there, I am going to let you in a very well-kept secret: the New Testament actually discourages marriage.

To summarize 1 Corinthians chapter 7: it is not a sin to get married, but it would be better if you didn’t.
But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. -1 Cor 7:32-34

Similarly, after Jesus speaks about divorce, one of the disciples exclaims, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” While you might expect Jesus to defend the importance of marriage at this point, he instead rather cryptically repies:
“Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” -Matt 19:10-12

Keeping in mind that neither Jesus nor Paul was married, then however else you may interpret what Jesus says, clearly remaining single in some way benefits the kingdom of heaven.

Furthermore, when questioned about marriage at the resurrection, Jesus responds:
“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” – Matt 22:30, c.f. Mark 12:25 Or more explicitly, in Luke:
“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. -Luke 20:34-36

In summary, as far as worldly activities go, marriage is not so bad. But it is, after all, a worldly activity. The proper consolation for Christians should be, “Even though you are married, God can still use you!”

One of the more difficult concepts for me to grasp has been to not to try to apply what God has told me to other people. Just because I believe God does not want me to be married, does not mean I should look down on people who do.

In any case, we now come to the root of our standoff. For I only started going to church in the first place in an effort to get married. If God does not wish it to be so, then WHAT DO I NEED YOU FOR?

Though I had already planned out what I wanted to say, it took me awhile to actually get it all down. The wedding I mentioned has already passed, and I caught the MF-ing garter. Why do you mock me so?


Posted by on Friday, 31 August, 2007

I may have mentioned to a some people last year that I was being “consumed” by a certain project, and needed to put it away. I never actually said that I did not finish it first.

It’s been along time. So, this is what I keep in my closet. I have been learning an awful lot of web programming lately in order to make that page, so I do hope it works.


Posted by on Tuesday, 28 August, 2007

Today I finished school. I mentioned this to someone yesterday who responded, “That would make a great birthday present.” I can’t imagine how this particular person would have actually known when my birthday was, which makes for a terribly unusual thing to say. While talking to someone else, it came out that my grades are, in fact, quite good, and they asked, “Are you actually really smart and you’ve just been hiding it from me this whole time?” Uh… what do you do with that?

Anyway, I never imagined that this day would actually come. At first I was numb. Then I was nauseous. My God, what a waste. That’s an awful lot of years I won’t be getting back.

So what happens now? i’ve done what you asked. Can i please come home now? Done, you say? Hardly. Stagnation is not perseverance.

There is a certain expectation that upon completing a degree in electrical engineering, one seeks employment in the field of electrical engineering. I realized a couple of weeks ago that, all other things aside, doing that would most likely involve moving. Now, I’m not strictly opposed to moving. You know, I once left my job, my house, my girlfriend and moved to a different state to learn how to build guitars?
-No you didn’t.
No really, I did. It happened. I was there.
-Oh, please. I know you too well… and I don’t believe it.

Whatever. I wasn’t planning on staying in California my whole life anyway. It’s just that I don’t want to move somewhere that is not a developing nation and I certainly do not want to do any electrical engineering when I get there. I’m not interested in having to start over someplace where no one knows me, for no good reason. But haven’t I spent months whining that no one even really knows me here?

So, endings, beginnings. I broke a guitar string yesterday. Those were originals. They came with the guitar. I had them for six years. Now that’s absurd. I’ve also been having such strange dreams and strange thinkings lately. How can I have such wildly different interests and priorities from one day to the next? What’s the matter with me? I’m too old for this crap.

By the way, as long as we’re somewhere near the subject, there’s something that’s been bothering me. Which is this:
N.O. 2/21
A.J. 4/2
E.D. 8/4
D.B. 5/2
J.D. 1/25
K.K. 12/12
A.D. 12/4
I don’t know. Maybe it’s unusual of me to dwell on such things.

Dude, It's Been Like Four Years. Haven't You Made Your Point By Now?

Posted by on Monday, 20 August, 2007

You know, I don’t think that I have.

A long time ago I set out to prove something, set out to find something. And a long time ago I lost my way.

There’s been a lot of talk about mentors lately. I admit that as a new Christian I did not appreciate the importance of having a mentor. I regret that now. It was not until I went through a Campus Crusade Bible study about how Jesus chose disciples who would make more disciples and so forth. This is is what true Christianity is.

And how am I supposed to make disciples? You know, I was never even “lead to Christ.” I was just sort of kicked toward Christ and then left to figure it all out on my own. I have never even attempted to share the gospel because I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on anyone. Should it really be on me to find a mentor? Is that not like a child choosing his own parents? What kind of church would allow a young man to wander in and randomly poke at things for FOUR YEARS without ever bothering to find out if he really “gets it”? But finding my own mentor really is my responsibility, because we just aren’t set up for that kind of thing.

A couple years ago now, I was talking to someone about not quite this topic but something similar, and suddenly something snapped and I started listing example after example of times when I had honestly tried to ask questions, and either the person did not understand what I was asking or they just didn’t know or never got back to me or whatever. Each case taken individually was perfectly excusable, but taken all together only reinforced the idea that no one had the answers I was looking for. So naturally, I eventually just stopped asking questions.

I have been trying to post on Friday’s, and last week I was planning to describe my impasse with God in detail… but then I got some unexpected news.

My God… they actually named the baby after me. I… I better start doing something with my life.

I mean, they probably didn’t literally name him because of me… but surely they must have realized that that was my name, especially considering that, well, I had told them to do it. I was simultaneously shocked, honored, flattered, confused, and… horrified. Why would anyone do that? I am not a role model!

On another matter, tonight was certainly the first time that I’d heard of anyone using the F-word during prayer requests. And I wish I could say that was the worst thing that I’d done this week. It wasn’t even the worst thing that I said to anyone today alone.

So to you iiitimothy, I sincerely hope you do better than I done.

As for me, well, a lot of other “that was weird” moments happened this weekend. Too many to mention now. The kind of thing that makes you wonder if someone’s not trying to tell you something.

In Which the Author Confesses Prideful Folly

Posted by on Saturday, 11 August, 2007

Two Sundays ago, I had a particular engagement to attend. It was located approximately ten miles from my house, and I had decided in advance that I would ride my bicycle there. (I purchased this bicycle for $10 at a garage sale some months ago, and it is somewhat surprising that I have yet to mention it, as I love it dearly. )

The foolishness of this plan became apparent rather quickly. Though I choose the bicycle over my car whenever feasible, I had yet to ride more than two miles at a time, if that. So here, I had chosen to do my first long ride, predominantly uphill, in the heat of a July afternoon… having eaten very little that day, I might add. Never-the-less, I persisted.

Approximately halfway through my journey, I had to stop. I had already traversed the steepest hill, but the rest of the way was still almost entirely uphill. I had also gotten a much later start than I had planned, and it was taking longer than I anticipated. At this rate, I would arrive so late as to hardly make the trip worthwhile. However, to give up and turn around would require going back over the hill that I had just come down, which was not an attractive option.

It occurred to me that there were probably at least five people that I could call who would drop whatever they were doing and come pick me up right then. But how embarrassing would that be? If I know myself at all, I would much sooner pass out by the side of the road than call anyone for help.

I had no choice but to pray and continue on my way, motivated by the fact that there was a pool at my destination; to which I successfully arrived, a mere hour and a half late.

The next Sunday, I was returning from church on my bicycle. I never did see what I hit, but I certainly heard the crunch and the hiss and felt the unpleasant loss of pressure in the back tire. I walked the bicycle for a significant amount of the way home, before eventually deciding that this too was madness. I eventually located a discrete place to chain it up and walked the rest of the way home to get my car and retrieve it.

Once again, having apparently learned nothing the week previous, not only did I avoid calling anyone, but I even walked past the house of someone that I know without stopping to ask for assistance.


Posted by on Wednesday, 1 August, 2007

Last week, I finished my 5 week crash course in Psychology. I found it pretty interesting. (Which furthers my claim that if you randomly select one GE course and one major course that I’ve taken, I will almost invariably have enjoyed the GE course more. (People think that I’m being facetious when I say that I have a midterm in my 4:00 class, and they ask what class that is, and I respond, “It’s the class that I have at 4:00.” I know the time and the location, and that it has something to do with ECE, and beyond that I honestly don’t care.))

Of course, both in the book and in the videos I had to watch, they seemed to be repeatedly emphasizing, “No really… this is real science… honestly…” Which becomes less convincing with each instance.

Nevertheless, there were some interesting ideas. One was the “spotlight effect”, which is when one assumes that people are paying more attention to you than they really are. That certainly applies to me. I only blog because it makes me feel like people give a crap.

Another concept really made me think, now there’s what’s wrong with me:

I suffer from a great deal of cognitive dissonance.


Posted by on Friday, 27 July, 2007

A couple of years back I felt very disconnected. I had a blog. Some people read it. I imagine that they associated it with a certain person that they occasionally saw and interacted with. That person, however, would rarely admit to even having a blog, and when questioned directly on a specific post, I think you would find that he had no more information than you did, as if he had merely read what was written himself… or in some cases, had not even done that. That person was a fake.

I remember an incident back then, when someone who had moved away was back visiting the church. He asked how I was and I gave whatever answer one gives in such circumstances. But he persisted. “You’re not ok, are you? Something’s really wrong… it’s like… your dead inside.”

I was shocked. You can see me! The REAL me! Fortunately, this fellow also has a rather short attention span and was quickly distracted by someone else whom he had not seen in awhile.

The point of my last post was that I really have no idea who I am anymore. I complain of superficial friendships, but it is not them… it is me. I do not even see a person in the mirror anymore, all I see is that beard. What happened to me? I used to have depth. I was a boxing black hole of depth.

Awhile back, we were playing a game called “Loaded Questions”, where one person will read a question and everyone else writes down an answer, then the first person has to determine who said what. One of the questions was something like, “Who do you think is dishonest?” There was no stipulation that it had to be someone in the room, yet three people still wrote down “Tim” … including myself.

This week, I confronted myself about the fact that recently, whenever I am around a certain individual, I calculate my behavior to create an impression that is not, in fact, true. Overlooking for the moment that this practice is despicable, I do not understand the point of this game. I can not see what I have to gain here even if successful.