July 31, 2005

Tea, Earl Grey, Hot

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 31, 2005 3:26 PM

I had a number of weird dreams last night; I overdid the cayenne pepper on the tacos I cooked for dinner so maybe that's to blame. I only remember one of the dreams with any clarity:

I'm going for a run in the Berkeley hills, when I come across two of the guys I met in Italy. They join me on my run, and we talk for a while. My route is going steadily uphill, but sometimes the street I'm on becomes too steep and I have to detour around. At one point I miss one of these turns, because I'm following the conversation, and we are climbing a very steep slope. Everyone is looking pretty tired and I explain that I usually take a different route, but I missed the turn. At that moment a car comes up the hill and stops next to us. There's an old British man behind the wheel offering us a ride. We gratefully accept and climb in. This man turns out to be a professor emeritus of philosophy at Berkeley. He's also from a wealthy British family, and owns a large estate at the top of the hill, which is where the car takes us. The architecture of the estate is reminiscent of the older buildings at Cambridge: big stone blocks and so forth. The professor takes us to a room which appears to be a bar, but the bar only serves tea. A number of the professor's friends and acquaintances are seated at tables talking amongst themselves. The four of us sit down at an empty table and place an order (I order Earl Grey), and we sit around talking philosophy for a while. [At this point my memory of the dream fades, although there was more to it, but I think it transitioned into a different dream which involved the characters from Scary Go Round.]

Here's my unlikely but amusing interpretation: The dream is a religious allegory. The old professor is God, and his estate is heaven: it's at the top of the hill, all God's friends are there, there's no booze... The other two runners and I are attempting to gain knowledge of God through the long and arduous process of science, but we are unable to reach the goal this way—only after we die and are taken up into heaven are we able to know the truth. Now, if only I had dreamed that the car had broken down from the strain of driving up the hill, I could say that his Chrysler died for our sins.

(If we are to take this interpretation seriously, there needs to be another level of interpretation—since I don't believe in a literal God or heaven, these things must themselves be metaphors for something else.)


I'm just telling you. It's your inner novelist trying to make a break for it around all the equations he's walled up behind.

Posted by: Dad | July 31, 2005 3:38 PM

last night i dreamed i was in the 1920s, trying to get to an island in maine, holed up in a new hampshire hostel-type-place with some oxford lads. very strange. but very period, which was fun.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2005 6:36 PM

dammit, i always forget to say who i am..

Posted by: phi | July 31, 2005 6:37 PM

I had odd dreams last night too; my mother and I were attacked (and killed--I woke up the moment I died) by pitchforks. Then, after returning to sleep, I dreamt my bed was infected with gelatinous red sucker worms.

I don't really want to know what's going on in my subconsious.

Posted by: wren | July 31, 2005 6:49 PM

This better not be like one of those Lovecraft stories where everyone has weird dreams right before Cthulhu awakens. (Now, if the gelatinous red sucker worms were in New Hampshire in the 1920's, that would be Lovecraftian.)

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | July 31, 2005 7:19 PM

"I've been running up that hill to make a deal with God." You made me think of this.

I had no dreams last night (or i completely forgot having one if I did have one), but I did recently buy the board game Arkham Horror and am very eager to try it. :)

This is a non sequitar but... I found out on Friday that Sloan Annex will be getting refloored in a couple weeks, so I'm going to be without an office (and the computer therein) for a couple weeks. :( At least I'm in a room with a door so that I don't have to box up any of my stuff. (I only need to take stuff I think I might use, although I'll need to be selective given what I can actually carry.) They will be taking out all the cubicle dividers in the building so they can redo the flooring.

I'll let you know when I next have a dream. I've been strangely dreamless lately.

Posted by: Mason | July 31, 2005 11:56 PM

I didn't have any dreams last night (though reading a set of Lovecraft short stories gave me a series of really bizarre dreams a couple years back), but Mason, your purchase of the board game Arkham Horror compels me to comment.

Someone in my board gaming group bought that game. It took over an hour for the game owner to explain the rules--this was not helped by the fact that we were trying to run a 6-player game in a noisy game store, so there was a good deal of repetition when people across the table couldn't hear--and then took about 5 hours to play, on a weeknight. The recommendation I'd have is to try to run a smaller game (say, no more than 4 players) and to not use Cthulhu as the Elder God on a first run through the game. Cthulhu's special abilities weaken characters more than is good for first-time players, I'd say.

The other problems I had with Arkham Horror were caused by a couple players in the game who had some trouble with the notion of cooperativity. There are more things I could say about the game, but I've taken up too much space on this tangent here already. ;)

Posted by: Jolene | August 1, 2005 9:35 AM

Given the weight of the box (not to mention its price), I got the distinct impression that there is a learning curve involved. Clearly you're going to need to show us how to play the next time you're in Pasadena.

I'll keep your advice in mind, but at least the noisy game store background can be easily avoided. Non-cooperative people will be given boots to the head. We'll see about the other issues...

Posted by: Mason | August 1, 2005 10:09 PM
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