I slept a lot more than usual last night, and with it came more dreams than usual.
In the first dream, my sister wanted to know how exactly it is that three color channels can be encoded into a single composite video signal. So I showed her Dexter-style, by shrinking both of us down and romping through graphs showing how RGB gets converted to YPbPr/YUV/YIQ, then into YC through phase tricks, then into just Y through further phase tricks. Then things started to fall apart when I got into the actual decoding bit and comb filters and so on.
Then I woke up, and drifted back to sleep.
In the second dream, I had gone to Boulder, CO for some reason, and came across this modern-looking set of buildings out in the middle of nowhere. I went inside and found that there was something like a children’s museum, only the exhibits were about different parts of the human psyche. I wandered into one exhibit where there were fuzzy animatronic rats of all different colors. I was supposed to be scared of the rats, but I picked up a cute fuzzy purple one and squeezed it and hugged it and so on, and then some of the people at the museum told me I had to see a film that was starting RIGHT NOW, with an inescapable urgency.
The film was more indoctrination about twisted perversions in the psyche, and needing to shed off some sort of intangible presence in order to maintain clarity. As I was realizing that this was very much like Scientology, they got to the bit where everyone had to clarify themselves, and anyone who refused to was the enemy and would be punished with imprisonment in their own mind; this was symbolized by showing someone who looked just like me sitting in a dank, wet jail cell, all alone, the camera panning out to show hundreds if not thousands of these cells, but only the one in the very middle was occupied. By me.
The film ended and I kept a low profile, trying to sneak out nondescriptly, cautious of all of the brainwashed cultists around me. It was raining outside. I went to the parking lot, and started to look for my car, my dress getting soaked. Two of the priests of this cult followed me, and said, “fluffy, are you looking for your 1990 black Honda Accord? With the clarity of the mind we can help you find it!” I decided to play along, and make them think that they were actually convincing me they were reading my mind even though they were using information which was several years out of date.
Eventually I stopped leading them to believe they had the upper hand and pointed out that their hot reading was flawed, and that I now had a 2002 Echo and I bet they couldn’t even guess the color.
They started to chase me. The weather cleared up, and it was now a sunny day. They decided to try a different tack in convincing me to join. They somehow chased me up into a mountain, and were trying to convince me that we were actually flying, thanks to their amazing powers of mental clarity.
Eventually I was cornered in an unpleasant nook, and I looked down and saw a large 8.5"x11" envelope addressed with my name, but with a totally wrong, jumbled address, in Tempe, AZ. It was my much-delayed reimbursement check for the Army conference I gave a month ago.
“Do you see what your jumbled mind caused? It made your important stuff get misdirected! But with our clarity we have led you right back to it! Why don’t you join us and experience the clarity for yourself?”
I quickly realized that they had orchestrated this to begin with, told them to fuck off, and woke up.
And drifted back to sleep.
I had, for some reason, moved back to Fairfax, VA, only it was much denser, with large skyscrapers reaching to the sky, winding nonsensical roads giving no clear direction. (So it wasn’t too different than reality.)
I was riding my bike around town, trying to find my way back to the apartment I was renting (the same apartment I rented when I lived there four years ago), when the chain kept on freezing. The oil had broken down and turned into a sticky goo.
It began to rain.
I was behind a large brick building, possibly a building at George Mason University, only it was smack-dab in the middle of the overgrown urban environment. A college student, gaunt with light-brown hair and a goatee, wearing a blue hoodie, made eye contact and smiled. He walked with his bicycle over to me, and said, “Excuse me, miss, do you need this?” and handed me a can of WD-40.
“Thank you!” I said, spraying it onto the chain, freeing it up. I handed the can back to him.
“I’m… er… totally lost,” I said, and asked him for directions back to my place. He explained how to get back, and I thanked him and went on my way.
Somewhere I took a wrong turn and ended up inside a drive-through megamall, with huge walls, some yellow, some blue, some black, many containing windows into various storefronts. I thought, “That’s right, as I was leaving they were starting to build this…”
When I emerged from it, I ran into the college student again, and embarrassedly explained, “I was only living here briefly, and I’m just back here on the way to starting a job in Raleigh, North Carolin— wait, no, I mean Johnstown, Pennsylvania.”
He smiled again. “Well then, we can’t really start a relationship now, can we?”
I blushed. “No. Actually, I don’t know why I’m even here, I mean, I’m still supposed to be finishing up a semester back in New Mexico…”
He walked towards the door of the post-Victorian-era red-brick building we were standing outside of. “This is my home,” he said.
I giggled. “Yes… but I… I guess I need to be heading back…”
He looked back and smiled, and waved his hand at me as he opened the door.
“…so ‘bye,” I said, and woke up.