Dream: Search Party

Ever have a dream you wish would never end?  That’s what I experienced last night, when I was at some kind of a party with the actors of Search Party.

Search Party, if you didn’t know, is a TV show about to start its fourth season.  I came to it very late, but a few weeks ago I got caught up.  And because of the new season, the show’s been on my mind quite a bit.  It’s one of the funniest shows out there, though as the seasons have gone on, the comedy has had company with a bit of the macabre.  Which sometimes makes it even funnier?  Anyway, I adore it, and I wish more people would see it.

I guess the dream took place at a restaurant, though I’m not really sure.  All I know is that Dory, played by Alia Shawkat, was the one I spoke to first, and we sat down at a table.  I told her how much I loved the show, and she gracefully accepted my praise with total sincerity, so this is more like the first-season Dory.  Then Drew, played by John Reynolds, moped in – and he looked tired and didn’t look like he wanted to talk to anyone.  Then Elliott, played by John Early, sat right down, and every time I tried to say something, he’d talk right over me!  Initially this frustrated me greatly, but then I realized he was just being Elliott and then I was okay.  And now here’s the strange part – Portia, played by Meredith Hagner, was not there and instead it was Anna Chlumsky, looking very much like her intense, brittle Veep character.  Now Portia is my favorite character on Search Party so I just couldn’t quite understand why this was happening – like I knew I was dreaming and wanted Portia there, but no, I couldn’t make her appear.

And then we were all in a different restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, and everyone had a proper dish in front of them except for Drew, who had like a Lean Cuisine-type of meal, except it was way bigger, black and white, and had the insignia of the restaurant, so I guess it was more like a pre-packaged meal that they sold?

I’ll never know, as I woke up then (but not before Drew, hangdog as ever, let out a massive sigh of disappointment).  But wow, it was so nice hanging out with my favorite foursome (even though Portia wasn’t there, she was, in spirit!).

Dream: Friends, Yes, the TV Show

A brightly-lit large waiting room at a hospital.  ROSS enters, rushed and excited.  A DOCTOR is waiting for him.


So doctor, you wouldn’t believe this, but I just met this guy, and he was like the biggest blowhard ever.  And he was eating breaded chicken feet, right there!  Who does that?  And he just kept going with his inane diatribe…

The DOCTOR listens patiently, but the audience can see he’s getting pissed.


…and here’s the thing, his last name was the same as yours, Sauvage.  I mean what are the odds?


That’s because he’s my son.


A dimly-lit area.  People are walking about.


I’m so glad Rachel is in New York City! I wonder what fun she’s having.

Rachel skulks about, not having fun.


So yes, I actually just had a dream that was an episode of Friends.  I was very sorry to wake up.  I got out of bed within a few minutes, but I should’ve arisen immediately, because it all faded away too quickly.  I believe Phoebe was there, too, but now I can’t remember what part she played in the story.  I know Chandler and Joey weren’t there, but Monica definitely had that voiceover.


Last night we watched the first episode of The Undoing, which took place in New York City, and if you’ve seen this, too, you’ll recognize the same-name bit.  And earlier in the day, I remember seeing a photo of a woman wearing a F˖R˖I˖E˖N˖D˖S t-shirt.  But what about breaded chicken feet and Ross’s surgery?  I’m 99% certain Ross was there for some kind of surgery, though I no longer recall what for.  Wait, I did catch up on the latest episode of Warrior, and even though I may not have seen actual breaded chicken feet, there were a couple of scenes where people were eating, so who knows, maybe I did.  And oh, just for the record, it was early season Friends, all the cast members looking quite young.

Dream: A Drive, a Divide, a Dog

I’m in my car, driving on a narrow grassy plain, when another car approaches. There’s no way we can get by each other without crashing, so I turn the wheel and move off to the right as far as possible. But this leaves my car in an untenable position, to the right of a gulley, which I never saw before. The farther I drive, the closer I come to the edge; basically, my car is going to fall in if I keep going.

So I get out of the car. And there’s some kind of a wild animal who bites my finger, not enough to draw blood but enough to make an indentation into my skin. I hurl a piece of fruit, and the animal chases after it. But I know it’ll be back.

I must make it to the other side of the ditch. I have to climb (don’t ask — it’s a dream, after all). So I climb, on my hands and knees, and my fingers grab onto what feels like tight plastic grocery bags, stretched because inside contains coils upon coils of Christmas tree lights.

I cross over. And I look across the divide, and instead of my car, it’s Ginny, my German shepherd dog. She’s pacing back and forth, agitated that she’s over there and I’m over here. And before I can scream, “No, you’re too old!” Ginny leaps — and somehow she makes it. I catch her. I feel her weight as her body collides into mine, but then I don’t, as if I’ve absorbed her somehow.

And then I wake up.

Commentary: Yesterday my wife and I were driving on Lincoln Road, and a car was indeed coming down and there’s a part where it can be kind of tight. Later on, we saw a big dog sticking its head out of another car, enjoying the winter air. Last night we saw the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix (highly recommended) and she’s got cats; the bite from the dream animal was very much a cat bite, playfully painful. It’s been a few weeks since I put them all away, but I do indeed store Christmas lights in plastic grocery bags. And it’s been almost a month since our dog of almost fifteen years died.

The last part of the dream is a bit on the nose, isn’t it? What I find most fascinating about Ginny’s leap is that I had no clue she was going to do that. Even though it’s my dream and I thought it up, it was a complete surprise. What a gift. Thank you, dream.

Dream: House-Train

My wife and I are house shopping, and we are walking down a woody path to the For Sale sign. Along the way, we see squirrels — lots of them. And one in particular is enormous, as big as a child.

“Do squirrels get that big?” I ask my wife.

She shrugs and we move on.

We arrive at a house that is actually a train, as in a locomotive. Old-timey, all black and with a steam chimney. The owner, a woman, greets us. Inside, the train is well furnished. It’s long, but it’s a house with all things you’d expect in a house. She meets us at the kitchen.

“I need to be able to drive this thing,” I tell her.

“You can’t. It’s a house. Besides, you need a license if you wanted to drive it.”

“What about the electricity, water?” I ask, thinking you couldn’t move a house-train so easily.

“There’s another train house down a bit,” she says. I think she’s trying to get rid of me.

And then I wake up.

Commentary: On a recent run, I ran past a trailer park. Trailers sort of look like railway cars, don’t they?

Dream: High School Baseball

I’m walking with three guys from high school I haven’t thought of in…at least a decade. But of course, in the dream no time has passed. Donnie tells me about the varsity baseball team. I ask him who’s the power hitter on the team and he proudly announces that it’s him. He’s batting cleanup, fourth in the order. Chris, tall and lanky, says he’s batting third, which means he’s the best hitter on the club (at least this used to be true in baseball — not sure if it applies anymore in the world of Moneyball/stats-everything nowadays). Before Justin has a chance to speak, we’re at the ball field so my fellow classmates take the field.

I sit on the bleachers to watch, and lo and behold, half the team are girls at our school. And while the guys are wearing random sweatpants and t-shirts, the girls are all in different sundresses. Big Red (my high school team name) is on the field and I know most of the girls on the field. Jenna is the pitcher, while the bases are covered by Tracy, Stacy, and Helene.

Jenna throws the first pitch, and it’s not over-the-shoulder like regular baseball; she throws it underhand, more like fast-pitch softball, except this has a bit more of an arc. She’s got a devastating off-speed pitch that has some serious bite, fooling every batter to swing and miss.

My college friend Mark walks in, and he looks absolutely exhausted. He’s been on a very long trip and he tells me all he wants to do is sleep. I tell him he should just get on the couch and close his eyes. Lucky for him, there is indeed a couch, right there, and he falls into it and does just that. Within a few seconds he’s snoring away.

And then I wake up.

Commentary: My wife and I are currently on a trip to Orlando, FL, and yesterday, after visiting a friend, we stopped by First Data Stadium, where the St. Lucie Mets play, the affiliated minor league team. And a few days ago on the flight over, I wasted an hour or so playing Amiga games on my laptop via emulation, and Hardball! was one of the games I played (pic above). So baseball has been on my mind, plus playing that old-school video game must’ve activated some very old bits in my brain.

The reason why girls might be on the team is because before going to sleep, we watched two episodes of Russian Doll, which I can see easily burrowing its way into the dreams of many of its viewers.

Dream: Pedro Martinez and…”Ocha”?

I’m in Yankee Stadium, though not in any standard seating. Rather, there are cafeteria-style outdoor tables, like for a big picnic. And I’m sitting next to Pedro Martinez, the great Hall of Fame pitcher. We must be friends because when the waitress comes by to offer drinks, Pedro declines for the whole table and says we’re good.

When she leaves, he takes out a jug of ocha — it looks like lemonade. He pours it in everyone’s tumblers, but he misses a lot — like half of it ends up on the table each time. But he doesn’t mind — he’s just smiling and laughing and pouring and missing. When he comes to me, I try to put my cup right underneath the pour, but mine doesn’t do any better. Still, I got enough and I drink it and oh my goodness, it’s so tasty.

“What’s in this thing?” I ask, curious and wanting more.

Muchacho,” Pedro says, and pours me another. “Why you gotta worry all the time?”

At this point, I get something like a Wikipedia insert in the middle of the dream, like a commercial break. And the soothing voiceover says, “Ocha was accidentally discovered by a peasant who stepped on cow urine and moss.”

And then I wake up.

Commentary: The soothing voice is from First Man, which I watched last night, a part of the movie where a space mission is being described. I think Pedro is on my mind because of the Super Bowl. Even though Martinez pitched for my Mets for a few years, he’ll always be a Red Sox pitcher to me, and since the Pats are in it, my mind must’ve made the connection.

Caveat emptor: Please don’t take this as a predictor worthy of a bet on the Patriots for today’s game. My dream is just a dream…

Dream: Hogwarts Fraternity

I’m back at the fraternity of my youth, Phi Kappa Tau at Cornell University, except it looks more like Hogwarts than the actual house. No magic, but just the feel of the place, dark and gothic. I walk around all the rooms and marvel at the beauty, how right it feels.

There must be a party going on, because there’s people everywhere. All well behaved, appreciating the pretty things, like the fancy, frilly cushions on the couches. Laughter and merriment everywhere.

Jeff, a fellow Phi Tau, and I are now playing Super Password. It’s competitive; we are partaking in a tournament. It’s his turn to give the clues and for me to guess, and because it’s so loud, I can’t quite hear him. I ask him to speak louder, but it’s really no use — even if I could hear him, I suck. I’m just terrible at this game, and if Jeff had someone with half a brain, he’d be winning this thing. I only guess one clue correctly. And when it’s my turn, I do even worse. We get nothing right.

The house launches itself into the sky. When it lands, the front of the house now faces the back, opening right up to the back yard. The back of the house now faces the driveway. This will be hugely inconvenient, I think to myself, but everyone around me is delighted. Opening that front door and being greeted by the green grass and the tall trees is exactly what they want.

Then I wake up.

Commentary: The Super Password bit is obvious; I’ve been getting weekly allergy shots and the doctor’s office is always tuned to the Game Show Network. Everything else makes no sense whatsoever, but why should it? It’s a dream.

Dream: An Interview, a Folder, The Donald

I’m waiting for a job interview, and in my hand is a folder containing something new and exciting that I plan to share with my future employer. But in the hallway with me is Donald Trump, who is wearing a black trenchcoat over a black suit and red tie. He looks massive, a giant, and he demands I hand over the folder to him, now. I refuse. I run. He chases me, his body almost fishtailing because he’s going so fast and he’s so heavy, bumping against the walls. If not for me sidestepping at the last possible second to pivot and change direction, he’d catch me. His enormous hands barely miss me, again and again. But each time it feels like he’s getting closer.

Then I wake up.

Dream, 11/29/2018: Tina, Ellie, Lance, and I

I’m in a massive dorm room with Tina Fey, Ellie Kemper, and a woman named Lance Gabriel who looks just like Anna Chlumsky. The women are all on their own twin beds as I chat with them. We are good friends. I tell them they should never leave school — we are all attending Cornell. I’m a senior. I suggest that with the money they have, they really never have to leave, and they find this notion hilarious. But, I warn them, if one of them decides to leave, it’s over; the pact/spell will be broken. The women look at me solemnly, understanding the gravity of my words.

Then Ellie, Lance, and I are at a basketball game. The teams are terrible…it takes more than ten minutes for somebody to score, the other team, the ones in blue. The guy is fouled as he takes the shot; the ball bounces around the rim a few times before it finally falls in. He swishes in the free throw to give the opponent a 3-0 edge. On the Cornell team, there’s a player who is supposed to be really good, but he’s got a bum leg. His entire leg looks like it’s in a cast. Ellie and Lance are ignoring me, so I leave.

Then I’m in the dining hall and I continue to feel like an outsider. So many diners, and yet I don’t know anyone, and I can’t buy anything because I don’t have a swipe-able meal card, even though I’ve signed up for a meal plan at the start of the semester. A card? I ask the cashier. Really, you still need a card in this day and age? I’m told to go to Willard Straight (the student union), so I go there, and there are two women and a student in a tiny office that resembles a gas station mart. The student looks at me with exasperation. He holds up his smartphone and says, Touch and Pay, right? Ugh.

One of the women, an old lady, asks me why it’s taken me so long to come here. I tell her it’s because I live off-campus, but she doesn’t buy my excuse. She and the other woman chat among themselves, intimating that it’s too late for me to get a card now.

And then I wake up.


I know why Ellie Kemper is in this dream; it’s because I read her By the Book in the Times yesterday (how cool she’s a fan of Richard Yates!). But Tina Fey and Lance Gabriel, a.k.a. Anna Chlumsky? Welcome to nonsensical dream logic. And I think beds play a part because because I watched a CBS Sunday Morning segment last night about the history of the waterbed, which was fascinating.

Game of Dreams

Last night, my wife and I started catching up with the current season of Game of Thrones.  Which is, for those who don’t know the show, a daunting task.  How many kings are there, now, exactly?  And who were Ned Stark’s children again?  I’d forgotten that he’s also referred to as Eddard.  And Stannis who?  The melodramatic woman on the beach, the poisoned old guy, dragons and subtitles and bastards and direwolves…my brain cries uncle.

Two and a Half Men isn’t really that bad of a show, is it?  Save me, Ashton Kutcher, with your silly muggings and stupid lines.

Anyway, Game of Thrones is astonishingly epic, and maybe that’s why I had another very vivid dream last night.  It goes something like this:

I’m at a New Order concert with my great writer friend Ed Lin.  (Sorry, Ed, for pulling you into this mess.)  This makes sense, as I’ve read one of Ed’s posts about seeing Peter Hook (former member of New Order) a while back.  So there we are, listening to New Order, when I see Hilary Duff sitting a few rows away.  As far as I know, I’ve spent a total of 1.42 seconds of my life thinking about Hilary Duff (probably an overestimate), but here she is, not only sitting there but looking right at me, staring hard.

“It’s because she’s missing her dog,” Ed says, as if this made all the sense in the world.  (FYI, after seeing Game of Thrones, we saw the episode of Veep “Catherine,” where a dog is prominently featured in the storyline.)

At this point, I notice that everyone has a tattoo on their arm.  We received it as we entered the concert, I guess as some sort of a validating stamp?  On mine, it is a bunch of stars against a charcoal background.  The stars are moving, streaking.  I feel like dancing, I get up…

…and I’m hanging out with Janet Jackson.  (At the supermarket yesterday, I may have seen her on a magazine cover [verified via Google — Prevention, July 2012!].)  Onlookers on the street gawk at us, and I feel cool and important.  We enter a nail salon, where all the nail ladies do the nails while lying on fancily made beds.  The client is supposed to climb into bed with the nail ladies, but Janet politely refuses, so she sits in a chair while the nail lady awkwardly leans over to do Janet’s nails.

Then Janet and I are going back to the concert, and we are being followed by the nail lady and a big tough guy, both of them looking pissed.  The big guy takes out a tape measure, runs up to Janet, and starts measuring her head and back without asking for permission.  I try to stop him, and he pulls out a gun.  We run…

…back to the concert.  The door slams shut, and a man gives me a baseball bat.  The bat feels excellent in my hands.  With this bat, I can protect people.

And that’s when I wake up.

Dreams are awesome.