Nightmares r us.

I have trouble getting to sleep sometimes. After initially falling asleep, I’ll immediately have some odd dreams and wake up. Often the dreams go awry and I’m in some nightmare that isn’t frightening from any rational standpoint, but does wake me up and keep me from falling asleep for a while.

It was worse when I was in high school. I’d have a recurring dream where there was a bright light outside my room, and I’d know it was some sort of UFO. And I couldn’t wake up right away. I’d keep dreaming that I woke up but still be in another level of the dream, with the UFO still outside the window. The worst experience was when I woke up, really woke up, and looked through the window just as LifeFlight was landing a helicopter in the park a block over. As the helicopter passed overhead, I just about jumped through the window.

I guess I’m not the only one with problems with nightmares when I first fall asleep. There are cases where people feel the Night Hag sitting on their chest and sucking out their breath. This is something that I even heard about in a psychology class.

Last night I had a more run-of-the-mill nightmare. A guy was breaking in through my window, and I had to try to convince him to leave, and to leave what he took. He had chiseled away part of the window. I remember thinking the best part was that I need to replace the window anyway. But I couldn’t get the guy to leave, and he was in my bedroom. I woke up with a stomach-ache.

Well, it’s almost time for sleep to see if I have some more interesting dreams. Like maybe a third annoyingly useless one about a particular woman who already has a boyfriend. Oh, well, too sleepy to write more sensibly.

All day I think of things to write and when I see this blank screen…

Nothing. But it was a bee-yoo-tee-ful day here in Portland today. I spent most of the day chasing compilation errors in some computer programs, mainly net-snmp in Fink. I suppose we all need our hobbies.

Yesterday I went to the funeral of a friend’s mom. I’ve known him and his family for more than thirty years. Maybe because it was a parent instead of a peer, there was a sense of distance to the whole affair. Since many of the people attending were Mormon, they seemed to think she was in a better place, a place I don’t understand at all. It was good to see the family doing so well and, at the very least, Mrs. Kelly is at peace.

Why is it that the two World Series™ games I missed were ones where the Marlins won? I guess I should be happy that the World Series™ is over and I can get back to watching football. And while there really isn’t anything interesting going on in my life, I can at least take pleasure in the fact that the Cowboys lost.

Aurora My Ass.

My buddy Il and I went out to a dark area on Sauvies Island, just north of Portland to try and see the Aurora Borealis. What we saw were a lot of stars and some headlights. Not much else. We kind of gave up after discussing our mutual disappointment in viewing the Leonid meteor shower and most comets. Hyakutake kicked ass but, I’m sorry, the rest of them were lame.

Il usually tries to get me to see some naked women on our travels, which is quite easy since Portland is supposed to have more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the US. But tonight he decided he’d rather build up points on his online Star Wars™ game than see nekkid women. I’m actually a big fan of letting my imagination do more of the work and very often I’m frightened by what I see in the strip clubs. In any case, I wanted to get home and install the latest version of Mac OS X (Panther) on my computers.

So, we’re perverts, but we’re much bigger geeks.

Wow. I’m really so uncool.

My friend Craig had a spare ticket to this year’s Warren Miller film, Launch so I went with him and his cool skiing buddies. Watching all the traveling, skiing, and snow boarding, all I could think is, “Man, I’m boring.” Plus, I missed watching the Marlins beat the Yankees.

Funny thing is, I just wrote a man page for the MacOS X program launch. Double geeky.

Triple geeky: I’m sure I’m going down to the local Macintosh store to buy the newest expensive upgrade to MacOS X tomorrow at 8PM, release time.

I am really missing some CDs. At least two Pet Shop Boys CDs, Journey’s Greatest Hits, and probably other things I can’t think of until I try to find them. The house is a mess so they could be hiding somewhere. I wish I could have misplaced something more like one of the three copies of Soul Coughing’s El Oso I seem to have, or one of the two copies of Erasure’s Greatest Hits, or even the copy of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam that my sister stuck me with back in 1987.

I suppose I should feel some guilt as well, I left my dad before dinner but after he told me it was OK to go. He said he’d eat some leftovers, and even asked me how to warm a frozen chicken pot pie. After I got back, he was puttering around, mad at me, and the pot pie was still in the freezer. Somehow he decided there were no leftovers but, fortunately, some of the things I’d left in the refrigerator were gone and not in the garbage. I think he ate them and then forgot.

Now what am I doing?

So I can go on about the jobs I searched for, and how lucky I am to find ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but I’m in Day 2 of being a dutiful Asian son while my ma is in Japan, and I’m trying to keep my dad from driving me completely nuts. I took him out to lunch and to a bakery. He loves buying pastries, but he usually doesn’t eat them. My mom usually uses me as a human garbage can to get rid of them.

In any case, I was asking him what he wanted for dinner, hoping that I could avoid cooking and also find something I could take out so I could finally see the Marlins beat the Yankees, but he said he’d eat leftovers. He had some turkey from lunch, and I knew there was rice in the freezer for emergencies like when my dad promises to take my mom out to dinner and at the last minute decides he’s feeling too bad to go out.

What happened was I realized why my mom should empty out the refrigerator before she leaves. My dad put a bunch of awful looking things together in a small pot, heated it up and ate it. My mom had left cooked rice sitting out on the counter in a Tupperware container, some stewed Japanese radish from Saturday (stewed in some sickly sweet soy sauce-based broth) that also had konnyaku, which is barely edible Japanese rubbery stuff. He also opened a can of Spam to put into this mess. That was his dinner.

I offered to take him out, I offered to buy him something at the store, I offered what is my own weakness — Popeye’s Fried Chicken but he wanted to eat leftovers.

Since this afternoon he’s been complaining that he has, “A touch of the ‘flu,” but that’s a common complaint from him, as well as, “A cold settled in my back,” and, “Give me a good rubdown.” He also likes asking questions I can’t possibly answer, like, “How much do you think it costs to sponsor a softball team like that?” or “What kind of oil do you get in Yugoslavia?” or “What do you think is wrong with my back?” and gets mad when I can’t give him an answer.

It’s proved one thing to me, though, that my college degrees are useless if I can’t answer those questions.

It’s a good thing that my sister is coming to make sure we don’t drive each other nuts.

My ma is probably in Japan by now.

We took my mom to the airport this morning, a place I’ve grown to dread. They swabbed the inside of her suitcase, but didn’t require the full-on x-ray scan (or whatever they do when the stick your suitcase in the front-loading washing machine in the lobby.) We left her to manage the security checkpoint on her own after seeing a line that rivalled the one leading to Space Mountain in Disneyland.

This evening my dad has been wandering around lost, but I was ignoring him and trying to watch the Marlins beat the hated Yankees. That wasn’t to be. I ended up driving to Popeye’s Chicken to get him the drumstick he was asking for and the hated Yankees scored four more runs. What I thought would just be a 2-1 score ended up as 6-1.

But the worst news came from two phone calls. One was from a friend I’ve known since kindergarten. His mom just passed away, and he was calling to let me know. A little later on I heard from a family friend that her sister-in-law had passed away. My mom always says these things come in threes (mainly because we like to group things in threes) and I’m not looking forward to hearing about the third.

On an up note, my friend Megan’s chemo seems to be working, and her tumor is shrinking!

My ma is going to Japan tomorrow.

There’s a good chance that my father

and I will drive each other nuts before my sister arrives on Saturday.

And what did I do today? Played with my computer, looked for nonexistent job postings, etc. In other words, nothing much. I suppose the biggest event was trying to find my digital camera to take my dad’s picture.

I suppose I should set some goals. I can volunteer like I did when I was unemployed before. I’ve spent hundreds of hours sorting forms, changing linens, watching patient’s children, copying prescriptions, and — this is key in hospital volunteer jobs — folding and stapling. At one emergency financial service, I double-checked people’s math to make sure they weren’t blowing the budget.

It takes a lot of “training” to get to the point where you’re allowed to do anything: stack boxes, alphabetize records, promote safe sex, etc, and I should probably look into it before I go stir crazy looking at job posting sites on the web. I should probably also make sure I know what I’m getting into before “outreach” turns into “passing out condoms at the gay bar,” again.

“Welcome to the Dollhouse” is an cruel movie.

I suppose I just don’t “get it.” The only part I thought was funny was when the little sister disappeared, but that didn’t last. It was all very cruel and unfunny to me.

Sort of like how “Citizens Against The Government Takeover,” (of the local electric utility) is mostly funded by Enron and PGE.

Sort of like how Rush Limbaugh, who said we should jail white drug abusers, is a white drug abuser.

Sort of like how there are no weapons of mass destruction.

Actually, the movie was nothing of the sort. The movie was just mean and made me glad I’m no longer in Junior High School.

In running news, I got a little gun shy after feeling like throwing up last time I went out running on Friday. I did a lot better because I took it easier. Maybe I’m feeling better.

If you have a lot of time to read, Margaret Cho has a blog now.

Oh crap, the Yankees won.

Double crap, Hanshin lost.

I should quit rooting for teams I like.

I hope that I’m not getting migranes.

My headaches lately have been making me sick to my stomach. That’s only one of three problems on the list according to Men’s Health Magazine:

  • In the past 3 months have headaches limited your activities?
  • Does headache pain make you sick to your stomach?
  • Does light bother you?

Yes to two are supposed to be bad. And last night I had a headache that made me sick to my stomach and kept me from eating dinner. A trifecta. That ain’t good. I just hope my friend Megan is feeling better than that during her chemo. I was feeling worse than miserable.

Earlier in the day I went running and almost threw up. I haven’t thrown up from running since I was in 8th grade. That was almost thirty years ago. I’ve learned since then not to push myself quite that hard and, besides, I ran at my regular pace. I figure something is off.

So, I’m taking the usual path to medical awareness: I’m going to wait and see if things get better. It seems to work for most things. I figure all things are self limiting: if I’m dead or unconscious, I won’t care.

Crap. The Cubs lost.

My writebacks appear to be working. I decided to quit using the static web pages and re-did some of the web server configuration. Whee.

So the first write back I get is from another frigging premed. “You CAN be a doctor,” they said. Actually, I can’t be a doctor. I’ve been told that how many times? Sixty-three? And anyway, I hate frigging premeds, and since premeds become doctors I wouldn’t get along with many of them, now, would I?

As an added bonus, I called about a job posting and was told that my experience in school was worth nothing and that only on-the-job experience counted. Plus, with the economy the way it is, companies are asking for five years of experience and won’t take anything less.

Headhunters can be so cheery sometimes.

Will I ever get this writeback thing to work?

So I think this time I’m really coming down with something besides unemployment. I thought the trucks were beeping reverse awfully early in the morning, but what really happened was that I slept through my alarm. When I thought it was 7AM, it was 9AM. Later on in the day I got a cramp between my shoulderblades and now I can’t hold my head up straight. I’m falling apart.

In any case, I’m still fighting with one computer running MacOS X and Apple’s X11. It just doesn’t act like the X that I’m used to. I’m also still trying to get blosxom writebacks to work on a BSD box.

This weekend I get to house sit or at least watch my friend’s cat. The cat hates me, and hides from me whenever I go to feed her, but I have to replace cat-pee soaked towels off of the wall because the cat misses the litter box.

I am truly blessed.

Some people don't believe my luck.