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21 June 2007

Tooth Delay

Whoa-my-gosh. There is simply so much to write about here. So much that I think I'm going to skip all the things I was "putting off" when I last posted. In fact, I may even skip most of what I was considering posting and chunk what's left into short little posts so that I can actually put something up.

I guess I'd better start.

Well, I'd mentioned that I was going to have my wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday 17 July. Well, after three weeks of thinking this, I was recently informed that apparently my oral surgeon will not be in the office that day. They offered an open slot on 10 July, but that's during Music Camp; we made it known that we picked the day we did for that reason.

So now they're booked straight through all of July. After that, it becomes less of a "what day is convenient?" situation and more of a "what's the soonest opening?" problem, because band camp starts on 17 August and I'd like to be mostly recovered by then. So now my appointment has been rescheduled for Monday 06 August at 10:00 ET. Oh, well.

This is not fun for me because it's right in the middle of the ninth annual Cousin Club Fun Week, and right after the family reunion on that side. So I'm going to be in pain and not able to be with my cousins for a good portion of the one week they'll be up. Grr.

Another disappointment is the fact that my father wanted to have this all taken care of before my orthodontist appointment on Thursday 26 July. Also, I was looking forward to recovering while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, it seems as though I'll probably have already read it by the time I go in. Vicodin and magic was a combination I wanted to experience! Although, it probably wouldn't be so "intense" as other drugs, but I'll pass on those.

Finally, it's right before my other self-created holiday is scheduled to occur (Tuesday 07 August). Now last year, it was a shameless (and failed) attempt at self-promotion, but I decided soon after that that I would keep the date and change it into something completely different. Since it's coming up, I was just beginning to entertain the thought of a day of "liveblogging" when this came up. Now, it's a painful thought.

I might just do it anyway.

Random tangent: Summer started today at 14:06 ET, and at that moment I was in a hot conference room at my mom's work helping her do some data entry and formatting for a presentation of sorts. Gee, I'm so helpful, aren't I? While there, I heard no less than five times that I'm "the spitting image of my mother," or as my mother puts it, "the boy version." Well, at least we don't look dissimilar, or as mom said, I don't "look adopted." Gee, that's reassuring. ;)


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09 June 2007

Dream 5

Great. I kept putting off posts. Posts about my recent trip to Pittsburgh and daytrip to Linesville, baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2007, and International Spam Remembrance Day ©. We're in a transitional phase Internet-wise at this house, one that is hard to describe succinctly, but I couldn't get online easily to write about this stuff, telling myself, "Oh, I'll do it Saturday. Saturday will be better."

While all of that stuff remains somewhat important to me, and will hopefully be blogged about soon, it has all been preempted by this dream I had, one year to the night after my own high school graduation. The details of the things in the dream were quite realistic, even if they were fraught with inconsistencies and were often nothing like the actual version. Nevertheless, it felt very real, and as such, I don't want to have this dream again.

And so, it is with utmost regret (although not really), that I continue my dream series:

Dream 5: Tower of Terror, night of 08-09 June 2007

It was early on a partly-cloudy summer day in mid-July, 2007. I don't know why, but my family was in Pittsburgh. Well, my mother, my brother, and I were. Dad was elsewhere. For some reason, Laurel was with us.

We pulled off of one of the local highways, and there was a sizeable parking lot. We had to park near the road, farther away from the complex. On the other side of the road was nothing but trees. In retrospect, it was set up much like the Millcreek Mall back before they started building on the other side of the road.

The four of us gathered my stuff, and even though the highway wasn't busy, and our part of the parking lot was nearly empty, we proceeded to cross somewhat busy traffic as we got closer to the complex. Mom was familiar with this area, as was I. David stayed close to Mom (although, being David, not too close), and as Laurel lagged behind, carrying most of the baggage for whatever reason, I helped her get across safely.

We walked straight into a complex at street level. The inside was quite yellowish. There was an office immediately to the right, so we turned left with our luggage. After walking a distance we veered to the right a little bit, up a broad tile ramp marked "C." Yes, the office was Panther Central, and these were the Litchfield Towers, my home for the coming year. As it was July, though, we were just there to quickly check out my future room (which, by the way, would be impossible in real life).

We made our way to the Tower C lobby, and found the elevators, which were on the outer ring of the tower rather than the inner part. Actually, the tower switched from circular to rectangular a few times, but whatever.

There was an elevator waiting for us. It was one of those "express" ones. Cool. Mom and David got in and pushed the button, while I stayed back slightly, calling at an encumbered Laurel. Eventually the elevator started dinging, so we couldn't wait any longer for Laurel. I called out "six-two-zero" to her (interestingly not my real room number), so she could catch another elevator and find us easily. Lucky for her.

I quickly looked at the console in the yellowish elevator. Yes, 6 was selected, but so were 12, 15, and 18 (note that Tower C has 16 floors). I initially looked at David, but Mom ensured me that they had been that way when she and David first got in (which makes you wonder why the elevator was waiting for us). All the while, the elevator is dinging away, telling us it's about to go.

And then it just went. The door didn't close or anything, it just started moving up. The elevator dinged for 2, 3, 4... and we could see into every floor (though express elevators don't even have a door on those other floors). It also wasn't quite moving straight up and down, but rather at a slight diagonal. Even though the elevator floor was always level and parallel to the regular floors, it was as though the elevator shaft itself was diagonal, and we were somehow being pulled in that direction.

When we finally got to 6, the three of us were so taken aback by all of this that we didn't move. What if, while we started to get out, it decided to just start moving again, crushing someone in the process? After all, all those other buttons were pressed. We decided to wait until the twelfth floor to exit with a more coordinated, collective, and determined effort to get out of that elevator quickly. Then we'd catch another one back down.

After a pause, the elevator began to move up again, toward the twelfth floor. Somewhere in here, a door came into existence, and when the elevator finally got to 12, the door opened vertically from bottom to top, like some of those doors in Star Wars or Star Trek or some other space-age thing.

Another surprise. Again, we were frozen with shock, and after a while, the door closed, and we were moving up yet again (although really, we probably would've been so freaked out by this point that we'd have run screaming the first chance we got).

Even though earlier, there had been an "18" button, we arrived at the fifteenth floor, the last stop for the express elevator (at other points in the dream, the tower had up to 25 floors, and there were buttons to prove it). Again opens the freaky space-age door in a building with which we aren't yet familiar. Again we go with the totally awkward and irrational response of staying put. I guess our thought was, "Let's just take this elevator back down to safety at the ground level, alert the building management, and then catch one that isn't so... weird."

So I pushed the "L" button, and when the door closed, our freaky yellowish elevator started heading back down the shaft. I looked up at the little electronic sign that counted the floors. Fourteen, thirteen, twelve, .... Then I realized my mother was gone. That was unsettling, but at least we were headed to safety. Nine, eight, seven, .... "It's clicking away a bit faster, don't you think, David? .... David?"

Great. I was alone in this freaky elevator that was gaining speed down a diagonal shaft along the circumference of a circular tower... if you can imagine that, because my brain sure had a fun time doing it.

The elevator passed through the familiar "4, 3, 2, 1," then proceeded to the awkward "0," and then the unfamiliar "M, B, L, R, F, 39, W4, U, ..." I thought I was going mad, and all the while, the elevator was gaining speed. I looked at the console, and of course saw the inscription, "Elevator No. 13."

I was practically in a free-fall (although that's pretty hard in a diagonal shaft), and the electronic sign now housed an unfamiliar blur of letters and numbers. I knelt down to the emergency call box, which wasn't working. Neither was the stop button. My only hope was to push all of the regular buttons, and hope that the sign would eventually pick one of those numbers and stop, giving me enough time to get out... anywhere. It didn't matter where. Just so long as it was far, far away from this elevator.

I looked up at the console only to find two buttons: three and nine. The centripetal force from whirling diagonally around a circular tower was becoming sickeningly unbearable. I reached, with great difficulty, for the lone two buttons in desperation, and pushed them... then I sat back down, curled up into a corner, braced for impact, and prayed.

I awoke in that very fetal position, curled up in the corner of a yellowish elevator, stopped, door open (horizontally). All the buttons were there, and the sign read "6." Laurel beckoned from the hallway, "Come on; get out. We've been waiting for you. Don't you want to see your room?"

I collected my bag and walked out shaken, but not stirred. Immediately across from the elevator, the first thing I saw was a room which had my mother and brother in it. The number? 620. My room.

It was nothing like a Tower C room is in real life. It was about the size and setup of a standard hotel room with the bathroom on the left. The two beds were miniature, though, placed in front of a grand wardrobe with a mirror in the center. The chair and lamp often found by the window were a couch, and the TV stand and desk were an actual full-size bed. Everything was upholstered or covered with varying fabrics of abstract "jazzy" new-age patterns. The mini-beds were blue, the real bed was pastel yellow, pink, and green, and the couch was turquoise, purple, and red-orange.

The walls, of course, were yellowish. The bathroom was shared with the adjoining room, room 699; I wouldn't meet its tenant for another month or so. But this was going to be home, and I would get used to it. I'd just be taking the stairs.

* * *

So apparently, my dream-self daydreams quite a bit. And when he does so, he has a lot of nightmares "day"-mares. He must have slipped into daydream mode when he was heading up that ramp to Tower C, because apparently everyone got in the elevator okay.

I awoke from this dream at about 06:40 this morning, and was unable to get back to sleep until I wrote about it, effectively getting it out of my system. My mother has since told me that she dreamed about being stuck on a bus last night, and when I mentioned that she disappeared from the elevator in my dream, she posited that that was when she left for the bus in her dream. I wonder what David was dreaming then...

Here's hoping that later today I can actually post some of the things I was meaning to write about. And here's also hoping that that dream is never going to recur.

Random tangent: As I was finishing up writing this, all I could think of was "Darkness and the Elevator," even though everything in my dream was well-lit... albeit yellowishly lit. Maybe I should take over the writing of that, since my brain seems to have done a good job on its own.

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01 June 2007

Moon, Decade, News, Teeth, and Visits

Happy June, everyone!

As I'm sure many of you have heard, there was a full Moon yesterday at 21:04 ET, which was a "calendar Blue Moon" in much of the Western Hemisphere. However, in most time zones further east, this full Moon fell on 01 June, and so their Blue Moon won't be until the next one, which is at 00:48 UTC on 30 June (29 June, 20:48 ET).

In this time zone, the last "calendar Blue Moon" was on 31 July 2004, and the next one will be on 31 December 2009. But the whole "second full Moon in a calendar month" is not the original definition of a Blue Moon. The name was originally given by the Maine Farmers' Almanac to "the third full Moon in a season with four," so that the other Moons, named for an activities appropriate to the time of year, can stay in time with the seasons, which typically only have three full Moons each. The confusion was obviously caused by lack of explanation by certain experts in certain papers, which is further explained in this article.

Based on the original convention, this is not a Blue Moon at all, and the next one won't be observed until 19 May 2008 (ET). These "tropical" Blue Moons are slightly rarer than the "calendrical" ones most people observe, but they can never happen at the same time. So what to do about it?

Celebrate both, of course! Why not? Both are interesting and relatively rare astronomical events, and they get people interested in what's going on around them. And when is that ever a bad thing?

It is interesting to note that this Blue Moon also fell on another notable day, Emily's 20th birthday. I had mentioned this back on her non-existent half-birthday, but I figured that not many of you would've cared to remember. On her blog, she reflected on her life in the past year, and is looking forward to her third decade on Earth.

As far as current events go, it's sad when anyone dies and it's in the news. But when it happens locally, and it's big enough to become a national story, that's really sad.

Also, one of the world's "most prolific spammers" was apparently arrested on Wednesday. On Thursday's evening news they said that many of us could be seeing a dramatic decrease in the amount of spam we receive. Well, I'll believe it when I see it; I got about the same amount Thursday as normal... and yes, I keep track. More on that next week.

On to my own life.

I had an appointment with an oral surgeon Thursday morning, and he looked at my wisdom teeth, and all of them need to come out. So that'll be taken care of on Tuesday 17 July at 09:00 ET. That's right after Music Camp, and before my scheduled orthodontist appointment on 26 July. Band camp isn't until a month after the surgery, so I should be fine, so long as I take it easy the first couple days.

The oral surgeon (a good friend of my father's) was very down-to-earth with me and quite friendly. He said that in the grand scheme of things, this particular operation is not a big deal, but he acknowledges that it is indeed a big deal for the patient. And I've got some time to mentally prepare for everything that'll happen. As we get closer to 17 July, I'll remind you guys so that I can be in your prayers.

In other news, I'm going to be heading down to Pittsburgh later today to visit people over the weekend. Just so you're aware. It's mostly a celebration of Emily's birthday, but I'm also using it as an excuse to see a certain cousin I almost never see. For you Erieites, I'll be back Sunday evening.

That's all for now. More later as it's deemed necessary.

Random tangent: My father I also went to GHS on Thursday during the normal Concert Band period to practice music for graduation on 08 June. My brother being the only trumpet player at the high school who isn't graduating this year, Dearbeck roped us into helping out.

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