June 3rd, 2005

bazille_summer scene


The delta breeze finally reached the mountains last night, and the air turned enjoyably cool. Today stands a good chance of actually being quite pleasant. If it does, this will partly compensate me for yesterday's dire events, when there was enough metal in my mouth at one time to build half a Buick. Well, that's what it felt like, anyway. I thought that the bleeding had stopped entirely, but the aggrieved tissue has decided to weep a bit now and then throughout the night. I've been taking a preparation of St John's Wort, in lieu of the fashionable over-the-counter painkillers, and the intensity of the discomfort has lessened. Still, I don't think I'll be eating anything that isn't fairly soft for the next couple of days. I'll have to be careful with the floss, too. When it snaps between a pair of closely-spaced teeth, that stuff can be like a guillotine for the gums.

Happier news is available to students (who must be 18 years old by June 14th of this year) with some skillz in the Geekly Arts, though you apparently don't have to be a student of a specifically Geekly program. One of the participants in Google's Summer of Code ("Google's program to introduce students to the world of Open Source Software Development") is LiveJournal, and as a Mentoring Organization in the project, it has posted a page with suggestions for possible projects relating to LJ and Fotobilder/ScrapBook. (You can also choose from a large number of other organizations which are participating, if you really, really hate Brad or our step mom.) According to the Participant FAQ, upon successful completion of their projects, every participant in the program will receive an award of $4,500 dollars from Google (which has alloted funds for up to 200 participants.) An additional $500 will be given to your Mentoring Organization. Oh, and you also get a free T-shirt!

Students! Forget the parties and the beach and the tan! Spend the summer growing paler in front of your computer, writing code that will benefit me! If you come up with a successful project, I'll send you some cookies! Someday.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Dream. I Think I'll Blame the St. John's Wort.

This evening, something decided that I would make up some of the sleep I've lost to recent disruptions. I let the cat out after dinner, and noticed how the lately risen breeze was sending the shadows of leaves scurrying over the ground. It put me in mind of a flight of bats. I intended to come back out and enjoy the scene for a while, but first I had to get a small task out of the way. I sat down on my couch to make a quick note, and the next thing I knew, two hours had passed and the sky was mauve with dusk. One of those unintended naps had ambushed me.

My head was fuzzy with fragments of dreams. I recall being both another person, who was directing a movie, and myself, watching that person be ignored by his actors. As the director, I was shouting at people, trying to bring some order to the chaos, and at the same time, as myself, I was approached by someone I took to be an actor, dressed in costume of the sort that British officers wore in India, who told me that his name was Chauncey Fallbother. I didn't believe him. He turned out to be an entomologist, and told me I had to go to the place where they were waiting for me. There were no specific details forthcoming.

I quit being the director, and suddenly found myself looking at three types of ants crawling on a large piece of plywood out in a field. Some were ordinary small black ants crawling in their usual line. There was also a small patch of tiny ants, about the size of grease ants, and they were periodically running as a mob in a tight little circle, which reminded me of a flock of pigeons, or of that Monty Python sketch about the pigeon fanciers. The ants would pause for a moment in a group that was the shape of a comma, then run again and form into the shape of an apostrophe, pause, and run around to form the comma again. I watched them do this several times, muttering to myself that ants weren't supposed to know anything about either punctuation or fractal geometry. I had the distinct impression that someone had put them up to it.

Then I noticed another line of ants, who were oddly faint- almost like a line of small gray shadows. Looking closer, I realized that they weren't ants at all, but tiny spiders marching in a line exactly as ants do, except that they were all going in the same direction. I was very curious about the spiders, and found it both amusing and a bit disturbing to watch their spindly little legs working as they followed one another across the board. I was debating with myself whether I should follow the line of spiders back to its source or onward to its destination, when I woke up.

Stumbling out into the gathering darkness, I found the air stilled, and the pavement bore that faint sheen it has just before it vanishes into night. For several minutes, I had a sense of disorientation such as I always get following an unintended nap, and also the vague disquiet I feel after having had an odd dream. The disquiet is somewhat stronger than usual though. That is probably because this dream shared not a single element with any dream I recall ever having had in the past. Most of my dreams contain recurring elements, or at least make reference to other dreams I've had. Only rarely does something entirely new crop up. When this happens, it usually indicates the onset of a new dream cycle, and the vanishing of an old one. I'm not sure that I want to have however many years of dreams about ants and spiders and movie sets. I probably don't have a choice. Sometimes my subconscious really pisses me off.