Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dream a little dream with me

Dreaming is something , they tell us, we all do, whether we remember them or not. People have tried to interpret dreams for centuries, with varying results. Some, I think, are fairly obvious. I remember I used to dream about tornados fairly frequently. The dreams had different settings (a field, a road, etc.) but all had the same sequence. I would start off, travelling through an open countryside, when I saw the start of a tornado in the distance. As I ran and searched for shelter, the tornado would form and come right towards me. For all but the last two dreams, I was just about to find shelter (a gully, a basement, etc.) as the tornado was upon me, and I would wake up just before I found out if I was safe or was sucked off to Oz. The second last time I had a tornado dream, I was able to open a door and start down a flight of stairs before the tornado hit. The door shook violently, but I felt fairly safe. The last time I ever had a tornado dream, I found shelter and was deep in a safe basement, with other people I didn't recognize. By the time the tornado hit, I felt calm and safe.

I used to have another, very weird dream all the time. I always started the dream in the basement of a house, and would start to explore the house room by room. As I explored, I felt a growing sense of threat and unease. The dream would always end just as I was opening a door, and my nerves were screaming at me not to do it. I would sometimes have this dream more than once a night. The weird thing was, if I did something in the first dream, like move an object, the object was in it's new location in the second dream. I had these for a number of years as well, and I knew they were almost over when I had one dream that had me looking up a spiral staircase into the light. I wasn't out of the house yet, but I knew I was close. The second last dream I knew I was on the ground floor of the house and about to get out. I still explored rooms, but mainly out of curiosity. I remember one had a bunch of Asian monks, hovering cross-legged in front a black board, in a room that looked like a school room. I remember thinking, in my dream "no that's not it." This particular dream sequence ended literaly, with me walkong out of the door and into a grassy field. I remember looking back and seeing a red-painted wood-frame house. There was one more brief dream after this one, where I set the house on fire and said to myself "I had to do this".

Most of my dreams, however, are of the weird and amusing kind. Recently I dreamt I was the host of a local public-broadcast talk show. My first episode didn't go so well, as it was based in the small appliance department of a store, and I had no guests to talk to. For my second episode, I switched locations to a small coffee shop, located in an old house. The house had a number of shelves with small china figurines in it. My guest was Tom Petty, and I remember clearly asking Tom how a creative person got their ideas. Tom proceeded to demonstrate, by putting on a cloth octopus costume and prancing around the room as he spoke. I remember watching ceramic oraments flying as Tom pranced from side to side, including a little ceramic cowboy's head with a cowboy hat being crushed under his feet. As you can imagine, the episode was a hit.

Another dream I just had last night featured myself in Las Vegas. For some reason I was wearing a long hair extention from the back of my head. It was ponytail, about an inch and a half thick. It was obviously an extention, as it was red and my natural hair colour is greying-brown. I clearly remember whacking people with the end of my pony-tail as I walked past them. If they confronted me, I would hold the end of the pony-tail under my nose, like a false moustache, and in a phoney English accent, would say "My dear chap I don't know what you are talking about." Of course, no-one saw through my ruse.

I would have to say that probably 90% or more of the dreams I can remember are of the variety of the last two I have mentioned. Bizarre. Oddly entertaining. And probably entirely without deeper meaning, except the definite possibility that my mind is happily warped.

Unless Tom Petty actually does prance around in a cloth octopus costume when he's writing songs. If anyone can confirm this, I would be greateful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Better Than Munsteriffic Monster Bash '08

If anyone reads this fairly regularly, then you know I'm a HUGE fan of the classic horror and science fiction movies of the 30's-50's. This year I again attended the fabulous Monster Bash in Butler, Pennsylvania, and had a FANTASTIC time. Here are some highlights:

Meeting neat people! The guest list was fairly heavy with TV personalities, including Pat Priest, who played Marilyn on The Munsters (pictured here, with yours truely!!) She's not only a great person, but she had some great stories of working on the show. Apparently, Fred Gwynne (Herman) LOVED the old "Munstermobile", and at one point decided to drive it off the lot, while in full Herman makeup, and toodle around the streets of Los Angeles for a while. I'd have LOVED to have seen that.

Meeting great things! Also pictured are my run-ins with the original Audrey plant, used in the Broadway version of the Little Shop of Horrors. There were a couple of guys from "Muppet Labs" there too, and they showed how to work their creation. The last picture is of a major movie star in it's day, and a co-star of Steve McQueen. Yep, someone brought the original "Blob" (pictured in it's luxury bucket). I was hoping to be able to wear it on my head for a picture, but it's a bit of a senior citizen Blob these days, and doesn't handle too well.

Meeting great fans! Cudos to all the people who run and attend this event. Even being a foreigner, I never felt like I wasn't 100% welcome at all times. An event like this attracts a certain demographic, the people who grew up during the late 50's to early 70's, when monster movie's were the staple on TV, and there was a sizable industry of monster models, trading cards and magazines (specifically Famous Monsters of Filmland-thank you Uncle Forry!!)It seems like we all had the same experience growing up; waiting for the weekly late-night horror movie to come on, reading about the filsm, building the Aurora plastic model kits. Now we're "grown up", but we're all still "monster kids" at heart.

Speaking of regular family attending this event has a son who requires quiet a bit of costly medical attention.The Bash hosted a charity auction of better-than-awesome pictures, posters, toys and books, raised almost $5000.00 for this family. Monster kids stick together!

Final thought-as much as I like the convenience of my DVD player, I sort of miss the days when all you could do was look forward to seeing a classic movie being played on the Chiller Thriller movie on a Saturday night. Seeing a favorite film listed in the TV guide was like findign a nugget of gold, and the anticipation made the experience, well, better than awesome. I'm really glad I was able to experience that!