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March 30, 2005

Jeff VanderMeer dreams of Tor
Posted by Teresa at 03:52 PM * 51 comments

Tor author Jeff VanderMeer has been having REM-intensive disturbed sleep, resulting in nightlong extra-vivid dreams. I’ve gone through some rounds of that myself, and aside from the disturbed sleep, it’s a lot of fun. I think my favorite sequence was when I spent the night painting pictures drawn from traditional fairy tales. I remembered the paintings in detail when I woke up, and have recycled parts of them into cover art memos.

Being an author, Jeff has of course been having dreams about literary politics, his publishing house, and the editors he works with. Being an author, he has of course written about it. The literary politics show up in the first dream:
Whiling Away the Hours in the New Weird Wing of the Old Folks Home

Variation #1: China Mieville, K.J. Bishop, and I are sitting in moldy lawn chairs amid a sprawl of yellowing grass. In front of us is a paint-peeled white picket fence, beyond which curls a road that looks like it came out of toad’s wild ride in Wind in the Willows. Beyond that is some kind of sickly looking river. It’s not much of a view. We’re all ancient. China’s bald and so am I. We’ve both got big beer bellies, are wrinkled as hell, and are wearing discolored white tank tops and Bermuda shorts. Kirsten has the mannerisms of Katherine Hepburn, which is beginning to grate on both China and me, and is wearing a huge white hat with a yellow flower design embroidered around the brim. She has a cane that’s got a huge fake emerald in the pommel. At our back is the New Weird Wing of whatever old folks home we’re in. But it’s not much of a wing—I know in the dream it was built by some reader benefactors and apparently they didn’t have much money, because it’s a bunch of muddy tents adjunct to the main old folks home, which is made of marble, and is strictly Off Limits to us.

I’m grousing about the New Weird, something along the lines of, “I never wanted to be New Weird—fought it, actually, and yet here I am, China. Wonder how that happened? Fossilized as a Old New Weird. In a stinking old folks’ home.”

China says something like, “Oh, fuck orf, will you. How many fucking decades do I have to hear this inane prattle? I said I was sorry!” And then goes on with his own rant—which is about how he invested in stock in publicly-traded Marxist communes, and when they all went belly up, he was reduced to near-poverty conditions.

And then I say, “How many decades am I going to have to hear about Marxist communes? How many times have I told you I could care less about Marxist communes?”

Kirsten breaks in with, “My, my, you’re almost like an old married couple. How cute. And takes a sip from a huge mint julip that has magically appeared in her hands. Then says something like, “But just you wait. My memoirs are coming out this month, and that’ll make me rich—again—and I’ll be out of here, and I won’t have to listen to either of you for any more decades.” …
Then Cheryl Morgan drives up and says:
“I just thought I’d look in on you dears and see how you’re doing. Oh my—I say, you don’t look too good. Perhaps you might want to get out of the sun.”

I say to her, “Why the hell aren’t you in here, Cheryl? You were part of New Weird, too, on the reviewer side. How’d you escape from this fate?”

Cheryl says, “That’s a very unkind way to speak of the largesse of your admittedly dwindling pool of readers. Why, you’d all three be out on the street panhandling or busking if not for the New Weird Wing of this fine establishment.”

“How did you escape from all of this?” China asks.

“I invested in [she says a word I don’t understand; I want to think it’s “mainstream literary” but I think that’s just my conscious mind interpreting - JV) with M. John Harrison. He’s got quite a posh place up the Thames.” …
It goes on. JV says that in the other variation, it’s Cheryl who’s stuck in the New Weird wing with them, and Kirsten who drives up in a gold convertible. Then there’s the second dream, which he remembers only in flashes of bits of scenes:
Working and Living in Tor Headquarters in the Flat Iron Building

Flash #1: I’m in Tor Books headquarters in the Flat Iron Building in New York City. The building is one of the narrowest in the world, but in the dream, no matter how narrow it is on the outside, on the inside it’s very, very wide. So wide that one of the administrative assistants actually walks to Argentina to hand-deliver copy edits to an author, without leaving the building at any time. My editor, Liz Gorinsky, is running around with an AK-47 under one arm, wearing an army uniform and a green beret. I don’t know exactly why she’s running around. David Hartwell appears around a corner, wearing a beret that’s paisley. I say, “What can I help with?” And they both shout out, “NOTHING.”

Flash #2: Liz and David are loading writers into a truck. The truck is down below and Liz and David are on the third floor and just literally throwing the writers through a window and down into the truck. None of them seem hurt. When it’s my turn, I say, “No thanks, I’d rather stay here.” But then I see that the whole inside of the building has turned into a volcano and I realize they’re not loading writers—they’re saving books. And when I look down into the truck, it’s full of books with writer’s faces on the front cover, with various looks of dismay on them.

Flash #3: I have been hired as a medium by the entire Tor editorial staff. I am to walk back and forth through the corridors, and any time any one of them needs a medium, I am to help them. I’m now wearing both Liz’s beret and David’s beret. They’re itchy. Patrick Nielsen Hayden pokes his head around a corner, beckons me into his office. There’s a huge orange the size of a medicine ball on top of his cluttered desk. “Tell me what the hell this is? Tell me where it came from. Tell me what it’s going to do.” I say, “I don’t know where it came from. And it has already done what it was going to do.” Patrick says, “That doesn’t help me. Try to focus. What-is-it-going-to-do?” I say, “It is going to explode.” Patrick says, “Really?!” I say, “No. I really don’t know what it is going to do.” Then it explodes.

Flash #4: It’s a war zone outside and we’ve all been issued automatic weapons. I don’t know who is out there and why we’re shooting at them, but it’s very important that we hold out. [I’m tempted to say here that in the dream David Hartwell was wearing belts of ammo and manning a mounted machine gun, but that didn’t happen in the dream. - JV] Liz is running spy missions through the front lines and coming back breathless and with information like, “They’re low in the weeds, but high on the fences. They’re down with the law, but up with the clouds.” Crazy stuff. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but Patrick and David nod like it means something, so I nod like it means something. Then I jump out of the building. I jump and keep jumping and re-jumping. No matter how much I jump, I’m still in the building. It gets to be fun. I’m laughing as I’m jumping. Liz and David and Patrick are looking at me like I’m a moron. “I am a moron!” I say to them. “I am a moron!”

Flash #5: The entire interior of the building has been transformed into a lake and we’re all hanging on to desks. Patrick and Liz and David (and now Jim Minz appears, for a few seconds, clinging to a desk, too) keep working as if nothing weird has happened, but we’re floating in a lake, with the shore far away, and there are things in the water—like crocodiles and sharks and eels and all kinds of nasty things. But they take no notice. They just keep editing and talking amongst themselves. I’m bobbing on top of a desk and trying to write, but I can’t keep as cool as them. I keep wanting to say, “Don’t you notice we’re ON A LAKE?” But I don’t dare for some reason. Finally, David looks up at me and says, “Where there’s no fear, there’s no love.” “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I say. He says, “You’re the medium. Figure it out.” Then we’re all swimming, abandon desks!, and the scene dissolves in the water. …
Sounds about right, especially the part about Liz in green cammie and an AK-47. She doesn’t own those things, but someone ought to give them to her.
Comments on Jeff VanderMeer dreams of Tor:
#1 ::: Edd ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 05:58 PM:

But... but... I hate hearing about people's dreams in blogs.

But... I liiiike these!

#2 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 06:38 PM:

His dreams are much less disturbing than his book. Less wading through body parts.

Just as beautifully written, though.

#3 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 06:50 PM:

Wouldn't it be more profitable to dream of Stephen King? Or maybe get a job by dreaming of saving the lives of the brainless through "Pro Life" administration policy, or Neocon warmonger World Bank presidency? Oh, right. We don't choose our dreams. They choose us. Historically, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was serially dreamed in a series of Edinburgh nights (not to be confused with Atlanta Nights), perhaps due to ergot in the bread. In any case, the really good Dream-Memes manage to hitch a ride on the literary distribution mechanism of its day, whether novel or blog. Whoops, I've got to submit those equations I dreamed last night...

#4 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 07:22 PM:

Awesome. My dreams are seldom so entertaining...Flashes 3 and 4 had me laughing out loud...

#5 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 07:38 PM:

If you ever have a very graphic and entertaining dream you wouldn't mind sharing, consider sending a description to Jesse Reklaw for his comic strip "Slow Wave".

Second toes

#6 ::: PinkDreamPoppies ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 07:43 PM:

Flash #5 struck me as curiously, irrisistably, beautiful.

#7 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 07:56 PM:

I suppose that, given this crowd, this is a fact that has been cited any number of times. But Liz is a dead ringer for Dawn from Buffy.

#8 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 08:21 PM:

Good news for those of us who \don't/ have memorable dreams; somebody in RI has actually invented the alarm clock I've wanted for years, that tracks your sleeping modes and your desired wakeup time and wakes you at the next-earlier point of shallowest sleep. (See the Boston Globe for Monday if you have a password, which I don't -- got this off the hardcopy.)

I can just see somebody claiming to have invented a drug (or discovered a natural-food regimen) that will induce REM-IDS, and selling it to people who think they need to be more imaginative....

#9 ::: John Emerson ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 08:56 PM:

"Fatigue is my drug" said Henri Michaux. Some of his stuff is much like this.

He also tried mescaline without especially liking it. A major writer who's not too well known.

#10 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 09:12 PM:

A. E. van Vogt told me, when just the two of us, in Pasadena, were sharing a pitcher of beer in 1969, that he'd followed L. Ron Hubbard's advice and had an alarm clock wake him up in the middle of the night, whereupon he would write down whatever fragment of dream he could remember, then go back to sleep, and repeat the process, editing the next morning. That helps account for the dream logic of his great stories and novel. Of course, without prodigious talent, the result would have been unpublishable.

#11 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 09:43 PM:

A. E. van Vogt told me, when just the two of us, in Pasadena, were sharing a pitcher of beer in 1969

You know, as hard as I tried, I couldn't top the real thing.

#12 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 10:27 PM:

Alex Cohen:

Truth is stranger than blog fiction. I still admire your parody, which has the sting of veracity. In this case, I believe that the anecdote was in context. I also feel that I wasn't name dropping as such, my evidence being the mention of his widow in the memorial story I posted on Kelly Freas, she being present at the larger and more public memorial, where the L. Ron Hubbard connection was manifest. In the same way, Jeff VanderMeer is not name dropping, as these people are real to him. That means that when he awakens, Patrick and Teresa do not vanish like popped soap bubbles... One doesn't choose to be Forrest Gump. Zelig happens.

#13 ::: Zzedar ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2005, 11:19 PM:

"he invested in stock in publicly-traded Marxist communes"

I love it. That needs to be in a comic strip. Or a Dortmunder book. Whatever.

#14 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 06:56 AM:

I also feel that I wasn't name dropping as such

Yes, you were. You could have said, "A. E. van Vogt once said..." without mentioning yourself. You made a conscious and deliberate decision to highlight the fact that you were there and that you knew him, well enough to be sharing a pitcher of beer, just the two of you. You added all sorts of details (beer, the two of you, 1969) which are entirely irrelevant, other than to continue to emphasize your part in the story.

Okay, now I'm the one off topic, so I'll drop it.

#15 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 11:17 AM:

Flash #1 makes me realise that the Flatiron building is really the Garda barracks from The Third Policeman. Which means you should all be really careful about spending too much time on bicycles, especially each other's.

#16 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 11:18 AM:

The flashes are great. Is pnh avoiding large oranges now? Or maybe this is actually a prediction about that ING Direct bank.

My colleague had a lot of vivid dreams after he started on bp medication. Mostly involving strong winds or being in the middle of a surging stream.

#17 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 11:33 AM:

Alex Cohen:

You are probably right. On the other hand, I've found that when I say "Famous person X said Y" that I'm often asked, by those of an academic bent, "oh yeah? Cite your sources." I may be overreacting to this by citing so many "personal communications" in my blogging. In my academic papers, I have very extensive references, and then slip in a few key "personal communications." On April 6 and April 7 I'm presenting two papers at the Western regional annual conference of the American Society of Engineering Education. One paper is on Nanotechnology, one on Quantum Computing. Both fields were launched by my mentor Richard Feynman, and I make a considerable effort to give what I believe to be the history of those fields in terms that emphasize Feynman's place in the chronology, properly citing those who came before him. I do find myself in the stance of insisting on this revisionism by the argument from authority, as if I have received the Oral Teachings of the cult leader, and thus have an authenticity to my claims which the mere compiler of printed literature cannot have. I agree with you that that stance can be annoying, and shares a lot with Gonzo Journalism.

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 11:33 AM:

Mayakda, Patrick is married to me, and therefore cannot avoid citrus fruit.

Alex, I've been telling Liz for some time now that she's a Joss Whedon character, but it hadn't occurred to me that she looks like any of the existing ones. Liz protests that she's not even a Joss Whedon fan; but then, none of his characters are.

Elsewhere, there's no competing with the ones who come by it naturally.

Eimear, we fear no bicycles, but are slowly taking on the characteristics of manuscripts.

#19 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 12:03 PM:

Sounds about right, especially the part about Liz in green cammie and an AK-47. She doesn’t own those things, but someone ought to give them to her.


See, what immediately flashed into my mind when that image came up was her storming into a CUSFS meeting, finally fed up with all our lollygagging, and screaming at us like an especially foul-mouthed Warren Ellis character (yes, especially foul-mouthed for an Ellis character. That's quite foul-mouthed.) while waving the AK around.

It was, unfortunately, an event that often seemed only seconds away, but she, in her endless forbearance, never killed a single one of us.

Hmm. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you to treasure Ms. Gorinsky.

#20 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 12:12 PM:

TNH wrote:

Liz protests that she's not even a Joss Whedon fan; but then, none of his characters are.

Well, they wouldn't be, would they? Sort of how some atheists are angry at God.

"You only exist because your Creator dreamed you up. And you suffer because he's telling stories about you in which you suffer."

Of course, if the characters ever found out who Marti Noxon is, their rage would go to the "blinding supernova" level.

"You suffer because she's telling *bad* stories about you in which you suffer."

#21 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 12:14 PM:

Flash #5 sounds like an IBM commercial.

Just last week, my boss was trying to get rid of an orange that was on her desk (she was off Friday and felt it wouldn't last the three days). Now I know what happened to it.

#22 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 02:05 PM:

"You know, as hard as I tried, I couldn't top the real thing."

Alex, I know the feeling well.

#23 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 02:49 PM:

I recently quit smoking with the help of the nicotine patch. The box warns of "vivid dreams," and I've known people who went back to smoking rather than face another night of nicotine-fueled nightmares. For me, it was like an eight-hour, '70s indy horror-film festival -- every night was like an hommage to Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, Dawn of the Dead, and Profundo Rosso. I dream in Eastmancolor®.

I suppose all in all it's good to be addiction-free, and I'm getting much more sleep, but I sure miss the free movies.

#24 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 03:39 PM:

HP--I'm about to quit smoking. Again. Though I'm going with the lozenges, (since I can't find a reputable doctor to just put me in a medically-induced coma until the worst is over.)

Workplace dreams usually suggest to me that it's time to move along, before I'm trapped forever.

#25 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 03:49 PM:

A mental phantasmagoria, 20 years in the future:

Perhaps it's true that I am given to overemphasizing the personal in my anecdotes, as Alex Cohen once said in a blog comment on a post by Teresa Nielsen-Hayden ostensibly on the subject of 'Jeff VanderMeer dreams of Tor' that I am apt to enhance even the barest of statements with the sort of detail I find adds verisimilitude to ones narrative; details such as the sharing of a pitcher of beer, which is something I did on one occasion with A.E Van Vogt. At which time he (Van Vogt) imparted to me some rather interesting details on how to effectively cause the sort of REM intensive disturbed sleep that was the subject under discussion at the time of Mr. Cohen's observation, and which is once again under discussion in our present phantasmagoria, all of which leads me to assume that Benoit Mandelbrot was correct when he indicated to me once while sharing some psilocybin mushrooms (as part of a private study to see if they would give any startling mathematical insights, close but no cigar-shaped topological object I'm afraid) his belief that time is fractal in nature.

Could the repetitions of Van Vogt in his own dream experiments have been divisions on a simple axis of time that have since been replicated at a higher dimensional level by our replicating the earlier extant blog conversation? Unfortunately my contract with the World Government prevents my giving you the complete information on this matter, but I will be discussing it more fully with Empress for life Chelsea Clinton in the White Pyramid this weekend.

#26 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 03:57 PM:

by the way, has anyone here ever had narrated dreams? especially ones in which they don't figure as characters?

#27 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 04:18 PM:

Bryan, I don't recall any narrators, although I've had dreams where I only watched but did not take part. To the extent I knew why other characters do what they do, there is a sort preverbal narrator, I suppose.

I've had dreams with their own musical soundtrack. Usually an orchestra, and it usually sounds like Bernard Herrman or Ennio Morricone. Only the best dreams get music.

Mac: There's a lozenge? Is that similar to the gum, then? This is my second attempt to quit. I'm on four months smoke-free so far. My greatest fear at this point is not backsliding, but acting sanctimonious around my still-smoking friends.

#28 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 04:20 PM:

IMHO, Patrick's parody was funnier, Alex Cohen's stings me more (so probably is truer and better for adjusting my attitude), but Bryan's is getting perilously close to publishable. Bryan has sort of a Limekiller voice going. Not that I can be objective here...

Bryan: yes, I've had narrated dreams, and dreams with elaborate credit sequences, sometimes crediting me for music or choreography. It is said (Borges?) that dreams in which God speaks to one are particularly important, and that books in dreams should always be attempted to be read, as their contents are valuable. This leads to a Lucid Dream subthread I think we had here once. I stopped playing violin when I was kicked out of my high school orchestra, not for breaking the bow over the heads of the other two members of my baroque trio, who just wanted to drink beer and smoke cigarettes when I wanted us to really practice Bach, but for trying to cover that up. In my dreams, I can still play the violin, and sometimes awaken with hauntingly beautiful melodies that I am unable to write down. How's that for Karma? Now, to avoid Teresean/Patroclean karma, I'll go back to lurking for a while, with apologies to anyone that I've offended.

#29 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 04:47 PM:

HP said: "There's a lozenge? Is that similar to the gum, then? This is my second attempt to quit. I'm on four months smoke-free so far. My greatest fear at this point is not backsliding, but acting sanctimonious around my still-smoking friends."

There is. I bought a box. Haven't actually tried them yet. I loathe gum so that was right out, for me.

My greatest fear is being pathetic and sniveling around my still-smoking friends.

JVP--You are an excellent good sport. I'm impressed. Thank god I'm a complete nobody, and therefore immune from roasting.

#30 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 05:00 PM:

For a long time I've had a quite vivid image (not dreaming, at least not dreaming-while-asleep) of a supporting character who, when first seen, is using a nicotine inhaler as a cigarette holder. Now all I need is a book noirish enough for the guy to be in, and to finish the current book, and probably the one after that, to have time to write it.

#31 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 05:23 PM:

bryan, I've had narrated dreams. Sometimes my voice was the narrator's, sometimes not. Far more interesting, to me, were dreams in comic book or printed page format. The former were affairs in which there would be scene transitions in which my eyes (formerly first or third person) would suddenly be drawn across a pane divider to the next illustrated scene, at which point full motion would resume. In the latter, I would be (again) in first or third person, and then there would be a sense of pulling back to either mull over the events in the book I was then seeing on my lap in which I was just the observer/actor, or simply to move from one page to another, at which point re-immersion into the page occurred.

I just wish I could recall details of the storylines that I was so immersed in...

#32 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 05:47 PM:

In my dreams, I can still play the violin, and sometimes awaken with hauntingly beautiful melodies that I am unable to write down. How's that for Karma?

Karma, schmarma. I'm actually pretty decent at musical dictation, but the music you hear in dreams can never be written down. Even if you remember it exactly, whatever you transcribe sounds stupid and wrong. I think it's a inherent quality of dream music. It might inspire you to write something close to the affect of what you dreamed, but the actual dream music never works.

Mac: Pathetic and sniveling is your right, as long as you're still on nicotine replacement therapy. Once you're off the lozenge, though, keep it to yourself. I got caught staring at someone's Marlboros the other day. It was like getting caught looking down someone's blouse.

John: That is a striking image. I'd picture Joel Cairo III, if I thought Joel Cairo would ever father a child. Or maybe Joel Cairo's great-nephew, Jason Cairo.

#33 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 08:29 PM:

I've HAD Flash #5!

I mean I've dreamt that before. Minus the cool cameos and particular topic of conversation, but I've been floating on a lake, perched on a desk, while everyone else went about their business, oblivious to the sharks and snapping turtles and stuff under the surface of the water.

I've had it at several points in time, actually, and stopped having it after I made myself stop being depressed.

#34 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 08:36 PM:

I've never had narrated dreams, but I once had one where one of my protagonists was sleeping on the backseat of a carriage, and I was looking on. He opened his eyes, said "You're supposed to be sleeping too, Missy," closed his eyes again-and I woke up.

#35 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 08:39 PM:

Teresa: Speaking of citrus -- I was wondering just yesterday why citrus fruits always get made into marmalade and never into jelly or jam or something. I think orange jelly would be great -- I not all that fond of marmalade.


#36 ::: Zzedar ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 10:23 PM:

I don't think I ever had a dream that was narrated by a voice, but I've had dreams that had sort of nonverbal words; like I was reading a book, except that I couldn't see the words either.

#37 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2005, 11:31 PM:

i had a dream once that i wasn't in at all. the basic plot was spider-man vs. the elephant man, at the elephant man's doctor's underground office.

#38 ::: Mark Shawhan ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 01:56 AM:

HP: ObFantasy -- the music connected with the High Magic in the Dark is Rising.

#39 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 04:56 AM:

'Far more interesting, to me, were dreams in comic book or printed page format'
I've had partial comic book ones, like they would start comic book, then zoom in on the page and transform to live action.

some printed page too, but mainly if it's text based dream it has to do with programming, those suck. It's really irritating to see a long stream of code scrolling past ones eyes, too fast to read clearly and remember.

Generally really advanced character driven dreams for me tend to have narration, sometimes just little voiceovers like 'After many years the Bishop returned to the land from his travels, to confront his evil brother' then zoom in on the Bishop on dusty road with an entourage of acrobats and the like.

#40 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 05:01 AM:

Actually I like Jonathan's posts, hence my capacity for and enjoyment of parodying them. A friend of mine (unfortunately not famous unless you have bought any crack cocaine in Salt Lake City)once said that he could mimick anyone's voice as long as he liked that person's voice. I believe it is the same in most cases of parody that it is easier to do well if one enjoys it.

#41 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 08:57 AM:

Mary Kay -- is it the inclusion of the peel that you dislike about marmalade? I'm not sure about altering a marmalade recipe per se, since the lack of peel would make the proportions all wonky, but it probably wouldn't be too difficult to switch a grape jelly recipe to use fresh-squeezed orange juice instead of grape juice. You might need a tad more sugar, but the pectin proportions would probably be comparable. (Or alternatively, the original Fannie Farmer from 1918 has a recipe.)

(I actually dislike jams and jellies and marmalades, and prefer lemon curd, but despite that spent quite a bit of time over summers working out jam and jelly recipes. For some reason I enjoyed canning them a great deal more than eating them.)

Of course, none of this answers the question of why orange jelly never caught on as marmalade did. And now I'm wishing I had something useful to say about dreams, but I don't. I only remember my dreams when I'm ill or otherwise not well.

#42 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:20 AM:

I think the most frustrating of my "cross-media" dreams (if you will) would be those in which I would have the pulling back event I describe, and then try to go back into the story only to discover that I had gone semi-lucid and could no longer read the text on the page in front of me. Deeply upsetting, when I'm particularly into the "story."

Surprisingly, I've had very few coding dreams. Had lots of video game dreams, but that seems to be pretty common.

#43 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 10:11 AM:

How about a dream in which you fall asleep and have another dream? Those are fun.

#44 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 12:33 PM:

The reason why citrus is made into marmalade and not something else is that the pectin is in the peel.

THanks to the modern availability of pectin in bottles and plastic bags, one could make citrus juice jelly. I would find that disturbing. You might love it.

#45 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2005, 09:14 PM:

Laura, I have sort of the opposite of that. I have what I call "recliner dreams." I nap in the recliner every three or four days and maybe three or four times a year I have a dream where I "wake up" and find I'm sleeping in the recliner. Then I "wake up" again and find I'm sleeping in the recliner. Eventually I get through the recursiveness and actually wake up.

#46 ::: Catie Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2005, 01:40 PM:

'Far more interesting, to me, were dreams in comic book or printed page format'
I've had partial comic book ones, like they would start comic book, then zoom in on the page and transform to live action.

I have had complete ElfQuest comic book dreams with each panel being black and white and still (normally I dream in color with full action) and have woken up and sometimes gone for days trying to find that new issue of ElfQuest before finally realizing that the issue was a dream. I'm always very disappointed. :)


#47 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2005, 04:19 PM:

Gee, do you think Jonathan Lethem could *dream* those "novelizations of comics" (see Locus Online, April 1)?

#48 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2005, 07:18 PM:

The Role of Dreams in the Evolution of the Human Mind

Evolutionary Psychology 3: 59-78

Michael S. Franklin, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 525 East University Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA. (Corresponding author)

Michael J. Zyphur, Tulane University, Department of Psychology, 2007 Percival Stern Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.

Abstract: This paper presents an evolutionary argument for the role of dreams in the development of human cognitive processes. While a theory by Revonsuo (2000) proposes that dreams allow for threat rehearsal and therefore provide an evolutionary advantage, the goal of this paper is to extend this argument by commenting on other fitness-enhancing aspects of dreams. Rather than a simple threat rehearsal mechanism, it is argued that dreams reflect a more general virtual rehearsal mechanism that is likely to play an important role in the development of human cognitive capacities. This paper draws on current work in cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind in developing the argument.

Keywords: Dreams, sleep, REM sleep, evolution, philosophy of mind, cognitive neuroscience.

#49 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2005, 02:21 PM:

Rhetorical Questions About Dream-like Workplace Dept.:

"The British Antarctic Survey is looking for female electricians, plumbers, carpenters, steel erectors, chefs, and boat handlers to work for 6 to 18 months at its five research stations on and around the Antarctic."

"'Where else can you work in an environment surrounded by penguins, seals and icebergs and climb down a crevasse during your lunch hour?' said Jill Thompson, head of building services for the research organization...." [Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr 2005, p.A9]

Ummmm... at the salad bar of the Linux-based IT department of Easter Seals HQ, during renovations? And stop making those hostile workplace jokes about steel erectors.

The story concludes:
"The starting salary is about $34,600 plus an Antarctic allowance. All food, accomodation and travel are paid for."

Travel is by alternate history Zeppelin, of course.

#50 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2005, 02:52 PM:

And stop making those hostile workplace jokes about steel erectors.

For a couple of years in grad school, my office window looked out onto a construction site. At the same time, there were contractor trucks from two companies: "Steel Erections" and "PMS." (ISIANMTU.) I used to wonder if the workers would get into fights with each other.

#51 ::: Tom Whitmore sees sophisticated comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2005, 10:46 AM:

Looks like such to me. YMMV.

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