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I play too many video games.

Last night my dreams were full of zombies; greenish-blue skinned vestiges of people I'd known before. In last night's Eyelid Theatre I played a student version of myself, loitering by a convenience store. Eyeing Twinkies and possibly cavorting on a skateboard (which I am miserable at in real life), I sought to avoid the undead creatures trying to touch my feet.

One of them was a girl that had been my friend. Her name was Camille, but now she was unrecognizable and hungry. I escaped into a drugstore and hid amongst the toothbrushes.

My boyfriend's mom joined me in safety, away from clawing hands and iridescent flesh. "What are they?" she asked me.

I explained as best I could.

"The state of undead is perpetuated by a virus."

Great. My dreams are now ripping off Resident Evil.

The most irritating aspect of these zombies was that they only had to touch you in order to turn you into one of them. No biting was required; the virus they carried was apparently capable of jumping from person to person (or more accurately, from zombie to potential zombie) with the slightest casual contact. Some of these creatures crawled on the ground, going for the legs. Others walked, making the obligatory slurping and dragging noises.

I woke up in darkness, thinking of spells and scrolls.

Man, I need to get a life!

Update: I had another RPG-related dream the night after, but in the interest of avoiding NFN, I will relate the exciting details here.

I was a member of an adverturer's party consisting of three individuals: me, a dwarf with an axe, and Michael Jackson. We were sent to investigate a pack of dire wolves in the deep woods. Jacko was immediately pounced upon and killed; the wolves ate his face. The dwarf fell soon after. I was the only one left alive, and I ran off without killing the wolf pack leader.


My first college dorm room was - I am sure like many, if not most - a double occupancy large closet. At the time, I was a heavy smoker, and a seriously reclusive geek. I did, however, have a fairly large cadre of friends who were constantly trying to get me out of my dark, smoke-filled dungeon of a room to do what college kids to best - drink beer and get high. I was not usually adverse to the idea, at least when they came to get me.

Now, I am dreaming, and I've snored myself awake (the head having slipped backwards, hanging back against the top of my desk chair). Except there was a problem. When I awoke, I was very disoriented - not just because I awoke sitting in a chair (come on, I was a night owl who had 9AM classes) - but because I was sitting at my roommate's desk. It was, of course empty (my roommate hated me and my chain smoking and rarely entered the room). But then I realized that I was not alone.

Sitting calmly across from me, at my desk, typing at my computer was none other than ac_hyper*. Now, this was strange. I've never met the girl, though I frequently enjoy her non sequitur outbursts in the catbox. I have exchanged the occasional /msg of encouragements, but I can't even really call her an acquaintance. Anyway, after what seemed an interminable time, she stops typing, and turns to me. She was small, slight you might say - sort of hunched over a bit at the back, as if carrying a heavy burden; she had medium-length straight dark hair - not quite black, but with a few highlights of amber and honey. And she wore a pair of those great thick, horn-rimmed glasses that were so popular circa 1950. She smiled vaguely at me, as if we were perhaps sitting next to each other in a library, or waiting for a bus. But she was sitting there at my computer! I must have been stoned** or something, because this just wasn't phasing me.

And then she starts to talk to me, in a slow, measured pace (which, from everything I know about our dear Ms. C., would not be so). She begins to espouse a new philosophy, one that has something to do with electroshock therapy, marijuana, and absinthe. Not that crap absinthe you can get today, but the stuff that drove Van Gogh to cut off his ear. As she's giving me her philosophy it occurs to me that she sliding her (my?) chair closer,that we're moving closer together, that she's trying to do it without me noticing. I can smell Lily of the Valley and roses. Then she suddenly grabs my hand, pulls me out into the night and we flee from my dorm down to this most beautiful of places (a place that does actually exist at my alma mater). We sit down in the grass. We talk about the stars above us and the growing things around us. It's early springtime.

I went on and on about something (at this point, my object viewer-mind knew I was stoned). When I asked a question, and received no response, I turned, and she was gone.

Such is life, eh?

* Mind you that, until her insistance, I'd not seen a pictures her until today (after the dream). And as I told her, my dream ac_hyper wasn't too far off from the real thing. (Hmm... "my dream ac_hyper" - maybe that didn't come out quite right... but you get the point!)
** I think I'm always stoned in my dreams, except when they're nightmares. Then I think I'm on LARGE doses of LSD. Must be because I don't have a dealer anymore.

I was presenting my thesis in Galileo-MacAlister auditorium, the biggest lecture hall on the Harvey Mudd College campus. It was surprisingly crowded. Professor Bernoff was my introduction, stalling for time as I got my slides and other materials ready. I was late to the talk because my clothes were mismatched, and I'd had to run home (not my dorm room) and change. Something like that.

As part of my preparation, I put a pot of noodles to boil on the overhead projector, and this wasn't weird. Right before I got up to present an Asian woman came into the lecture hall with a small crying child. We managed to soothe the toddler so it wouldn't disrupt the talk further, and we all breathed a big sigh of relief.

I was amazed at how fluently my dream-self spoke of my thesis research after nearly two years, and also a little bemused that this was such a surprise to me. After all, I did immerse myself in the topic for a year, to the point where I could discuss it in Dutch as well as English, as long as I stayed away from the technical terminology.

My academic advisor, Professor Ward, was in the audience. Although I don't think the talk was for a grade, I nonetheless addressed a lot of my discussion and explanation to her anyway.

There were lots of cues in the dream to suggest that this wasn't a flashback to my senior year at Mudd --- when I went to change, for instance, it wasn't to my dorm room. Neither of my thesis advisors or my second reader were present, which makes sense in a contemporary way, as my linguistics advisor passed away in November 2001, my computer science advisor was never that interested in the project, and my second reader, the obligatory mathematician on the team (unless you count me), was finally refused a tenure-track faculty position at Mudd this past year, after serving as a visiting prof for longer than anybody in the history of the college (four or five years). On the other hand, my academic advisor was there, and I addressed my talk to her, like I often did, because she asked helpful questions that helped my organize my thoughts and presentation, as was the case in this dream as well.

I woke up thinking that I should really get my act together and revise my thesis, like I started to do some six months after graduation (a healthy cooling-off period, I thought). I lost my inital notes to that project in July 2002, after sitting on them for almost half a year and converting only the abstract and table of contents to HTML. You can see some of that work on my scratch pad, if you're really interested. Someday I will node my thesis, really I will. I apologize in advance for the ASCII art that will be required.

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