Kudos to ideaphile plantnerd for the photo!
Hat tip to ideaphile Plantnerd for sending this one in.
Holy crap my head.
First Penn from Penn and Teller knocked on our door, came in, and started telling Nighthawk all these wild stories about getting a hamburger, and a couple other things I can’t remember. I couldn’t hear most of the conversation because I was concentrating on a cardboard box full of games (which was sitting right next to them on the couch) that I thought had a Playstation 3 game in it I wanted to show Penn. I pulled all kinds of gadgets and books and magazines out of that box but not the missing game, and just as he was leaving I remembered that all the playstation 3 games were in a box behind me.
As he left I asked him why he’d decided to visit us and he gave me a huge loving hug and said, “Because you’re you!”
I pulled out my phone to tweet about it, but as usual for my dreams I could barely read the phone, forget type. All the keys had been rearranged so the backspace key was above the letter R, there were three different kinds of cancel keys depending on what you were trying to do… It was a nightmare and I remember thinking that it was some of the worst usability I’d ever seen. I also remember thinking that this had to be a dream for the keyboard to be so bad, but my dream-self remembered that the new phone OS had just dropped and this must be the new version.
And then just when I thought I’d finally gotten the tweet written I tried to look up Penn’s Twitter handle and I couldn’t because a) I kept launching the picture-attacher accidentally and b) there were flowers growing out of my phone. Something akin to very small carnations, just big enough to block my view, were growing out of the phone. This was annoying, but somehow not unexpected.
Then I found out that Nighthawk had already tweeted about the experience for me, with pictures, which made me both happy and annoyed. He had also let Herbie and Basschica in the house. They were there to – ok I don’t know why they were there but they insisted on feeding the dogs, which Herbie had to learn how to do for some reason.
Once the dogs were fed (raw chicken is all we had, but it was in dog-sized portions) the conversation turned to what we wanted to eat. Magically my mom arrived and we all got in the car, following mom’s directions, and ended up at this old house (Victorian style) that used to sell crafts, but now sold seafood dinners, called “The crab tree” or something equally weird.
The restaurant had a large cement porch with a wooden roof, big enough to hold a couple of picnic tables and smaller bistro tables. We weren’t the only ones waiting for a table inside – there were other couples and families (all older than me but I think I was roughly 20 again) that were also waiting. After a short wait the restaurant staff gave up on seating us inside, and since it was a beautiful night they just started bringing out the food items of their choice, family style, and setting them on the table.
We had green beans in risotto, mashed cauliflower, mashed turnips, shrimp in a pasta, a different kind of shrimp with a spiny shell that was done in a garlic sauce, fried popcorn shrimp, and strange things. Strange things like live man-o-war babies (I could have my fish wrong. Round thing with a long tail, supposedly poisonous, had a shell covering one side. Maybe I invented it.) that were a bit scary to eat until my mother showed me how to pull them apart alive. (note: nothing like my mom to do such a thing.) Every table got different food so we spent a lot of time passing bowls back and forth and getting to know the folks we were sitting with.
Then things got weird again. I asked for something – or maybe they just recognized the name on our credit cards (Herbie and I were splitting the bill for father’s day) and we were ushered in this side door that looked like a closet, but had a door in the back, to see the rest of the building.
We discovered that this little house was just the tip of a much larger complex filled with science experiments being done regarding Jurassic, Cambrian, and pre-Cambrian era creatures. Even weirder, the were all kinds of robots and machines of a sentient nature in the complex, many of which appeared to be preparing for some kind of attack. It was like the TV show Sanctuary crossed with the comic Girl Genius crossed with a Discovery channel special on dinosaur-era sea creatures. Aunt G was showing us around and helping us get settled.
I knew somehow that my cousin Plantnerd was sleeping a few rooms away but I could see the shadow of someone sinister hovering over her bed wih a gun, so I sprinted through three or four doors in a hallway marked “no entry” until I reached her room. I found Plantnerd lying in bed half asleep with an IV in her arm and sugar around her lips. She’d had a sugar crash while on the tube (she lives in England) and the man at the foot of her bed had saved her and brought her back home.
Only it wasn’t really a sugar crash, it was a milk crash, because she required some kind of special sea cow milk, and the man wasn’t really a man… The best way to describe him would be take a leprechaun and cross him with a little grey alien, make him as tall as a short woman with normal eyes and a pasty face. He looked a bit like a sea creature himself.
We needed to go get something for Plantnerd but it was risky to get to and required crossing the loch in the back of the building. I didn’t even hesitate to do so, even though the only way to cross the loch was to jump from one tree root to another where they made a natural bridge down the center.
I don’t remember what I went to get. I do remember that the equipment rooms on the other side were full of robots hiding themselves so they’d be more effective if they needed to ambush the expected intruders. (I had been accepted by the system.) the was also a giant 6-tired amphibious vehicle that Aunt G showed me how to drive in case I needed it to escape.
When we returned to the loch, the water had risen and the roots were obscured. I knew that an amphibious creature that looked like a cross between the Loch Ness Monster and a rowboat lived in the water and was tame (and very smart). His name was Doodle (I think) and he very happily carried each of us across the pond. I remember being annoyed, though, because I expected to ride on his back and instead he’d only let me hold on to his neck.
Then I woke up.
The weird part of all this is how much of the loch felt familiar, like I’d seen and dreamed it before. I’ve been there before, to the loch, anyway, though the buildings and my family running things all felt new.
I slept for 11 hours last night. I’m still a little tired this morning, but it’s mostly because I’m dehydrated I think. The dream still feels like a real memory, and I’m a little afraid to go to sleep tonight for fear that I’ll land back in the same dream in time for the attack.
Now it’s time to start my day, and hope it’s less exciting.
This post was actually written on June 5, but when they pertain to a specific date, I’m backdataing them.
Sunday the 30th we took a long walk around London, starting with a ride on the Northern Line of the Underground into Embankment. From there we crossed over the Thames by foot and walked up to the London Eye. I quickly learned a few things:
- Copyright of Disney characters is pretty much ignored. We saw a number of Donald Ducks and at least one Mickey Mouse in costume in the path along the Thames entertaining. (We also later saw carousels and a number of other random objects with Disney characters airbrushed on them.) Let’s just say anyone who took their Donald Duck mask off in front of the public at Disney would be fired, but it wasn’t at all unusual on the streets of London.
- Dressing up as a silver statue and standing on a box on the sidewalk is an acceptable way to make a living, apparently.
- The London Eye is extremely busy on the first Sunday of half-term.
We walked up to the National Theatre in London, past the Blackfriars Bridge, and stopped at the Tate Modern art museum. I enjoyed the museum more than I expected to, not being a big fan of modern art. I still stand by my statement that the most beautiful thing I saw at the Tate was the view from the restaurant at the top, where the sun was shining on the Thames and making London look amazing.
From there we walked down to the Globe Theater and took a quick look inside, crossed the Thames back to the north side at Millennium Bridge (which is awesome by the way) and took a look at St. Paul’s Cathedral on our way up to Chinatown.
We got totally distracted by St. Brides Church, where the crypts were open for touring. There are few things I’ve experienced as awe-inspiring as standing in a crypt where I could reach out and touch (though I didn’t) the walls of a church that were dated to the 11th century.
From there we hiked it to Trafalgar Square, popped into the National Gallery for about 5 minutes, and finally made it into Chinatown.
We found a great little restaurant offering an 8-course meal for 9£ a piece, ate ourselves full of duck and chicken and shrimp, and laughed ourselves silly at some of the antics in the restaurant.
Behind us, a table kept asking about dessert. They kept asking for pudding. The waiter kept saying, “No pudding! Ice cream, coffee.” It took about a minute for everyone to agree on vanilla ice cream, but we’ve been changing “No pudding! Ice cream, coffee!” ever since.
When we got our ice cream, by the way, it was as much chaos, because the waitress forgot about us, then seemed annoyed we’d asked for dessert, then didn’t know the term for vanilla ice cream, then finally delivered 3 bowls of ice cream, where each scoop was about the size of a ball of butter.
Thoroughly exhausted, we made our way back onto the tube, and home again.