Friday, July 29, 2005

Night of Nightmares

Maybe this is what happens when you fall asleep watching the Dave Chappelle show.

Elizabeth and I managed to rouse ourselves off the couch at 2:30 a.m. I finished some edits to a script I'm working on and went to bed to begin my odyssey of unpleasant dreaming.

First, I went to visit my regular doctor for a check-up only to discover him wearing a blouse, skirt and pumps. When he and his 200+ pound nurse tried to hold me down and put me under, I decided I wasn't going to put up with the indignity and forced myself to wake up.

My meager 4 hours of rest interrupted, I nodded off again to be reading my sons a bedtime story, only to get a knock at the door. One of my neighbors brings back Tommy who he plucked off the window ledge of our high rise apartment. I turn around, and while I was reading the story, genius son had forced through the screen to go walking around the ledge like the movie "Baby's Day Off" or whatever it's called.

My subconcious not done with me yet, in my next incarnation, I'm a teen-ager who makes a trek through a bothersome stretch of woods to reach a warehouse store to save about 2 or 3 bucks buying cookies and other junk, skipping the local store. I go through the hassle of the long trip, climbing through the ravine and bramble, only to reach the major road to get back to my apartment complex and be stopped by a patrol car. The cops look at my snacks, take them all from me to save for later and decide to arrest me for some project they're discussing between themselves. I'm about to run, but then think -- I'm supposed to have faith that Christ will protect me from all things, so I let them put me in the police car. Thinking back, even with faith, I'm not willing to put up with the indignity of scenario number one.

Finally, I next show up at the post office to mail some more comics that I've been hawking on e-bay. I'm getting even worse service than usual when I discover in the desk tray of one of the employees (a cross between nurse Ratchit and Shirley McClain) the two comics I'd mailed the week before just sitting there, in dogged shape. I start arguing with these clowns and they start rolling out STAMPS for a bribe, asking, "how many is it going to take to make you go away."

Mercifully, the alarm clock rescued me at that point.

My wife said we had the thermostat set too high last night. I suppose the upside is when your dreams are getting this detailed, you're supposed to be in a creative zone.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Elmer Gantry and Inferno

Odd juxtaposition of movie and book to check out. I enjoyed Elmer Gantry. There was the smug edge to it of a hollywood screenwriter, but Burt Lancaster was so good in the role that I forgave it its cheap shots. He was terrific. I think I also have a soft spot for womanizers. As far as sins go, I'm completely empathetic. I didn't get the hardwiring in me that delights in killing my fellow man or stealing to get something for nothing. But as far as being enraptured with the opposite sex, it's almost not fair that it's a sin.

Inferno was a fun compelling read. Science fiction writers Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven took us on a return trip through Dante's seven circles of hell. I didn't read the Divine Comedy - I only knew the circles through summary descriptions. So going through on a narrative was - like I stated - a compelling read. What was also interesting was the prioritization of sins. For example, the violent people - which I hold to be particular awful sinners - were in the fifth circle in the lake of boiling blood. But liars and panderers were down in the sixth circle in a river of flowing human excrement. That means, kill someone without repenting -- get the 5th. Be a lying telemarketer without repenting -- get an even rougher ticket.

It was also amusing to read the shot they took at an unnamed writer (I'm guessing, ol' L'ron Hubbard) they happened to find down there for creating his own religion. I enjoyed this Niven/Pournelle collaboration as much as any of them.