Tag: IPhone

Dreaming of the Summer of Jon

Last night I dreamt I was in Vienna. Since I haven’t been in Vienna before I can’t really speak to how authentic my dream was. For some reason Vienna looks a lot like San Francisco in my dreams. There are older, fancier buildings and fewer people speaking English in my dream version of Vienna than the real San Francisco, but for some reason my subconscious is making a connection between Vienna and SF. Maybe deep, deep in my mind there is some little spark connecting my childhood fascination with Vienna sausages and Rice-a-Roni. (This reference will not make sense to most people, but my mind is trying to tell me something and I need to get to the bottom of it.)

So here is the dream: I arrive in Vienna by train. I hop on a little street car and meet a family of Americans. You can’t get away from those damn Americans even in Vienna, they are everywhere in my dreams. I talk to the family a little bit, pretend I know more about Vienna than I do. (I don’t tell them that I only thought about Vienna as the capital of little hot dogs in a can until a few years ago.) I take a picture of a large white building (it looks a lot like the TransAmerica Building in SF) with my iPhone. I get off the trolley at the next stop and head underground to get on a subway. Here is where the dream gets a bit confusing, I buy a ticket, but remember that I left my luggage somewhere. I head upstairs and start looking for my luggage where I left it in a big library/transit station. It is odd that I would have left the luggage there because I have not been in this building before. I stroll around looking for my luggage and when I say stroll, I mean I am lollygagging. This is where my dream brain gets itself into trouble. I would never set my luggage down and just walk away and if I did, I would be frantically running around like Tom Cruise. (Watch any Tom Cruise movie, at some point Tom must tell the director, “We need a shot of me running because I am really fast.”) Vienna may seem like a safe place in my dreams, but in reality there are Russian gangsters all over the place. So instead of dashing around looking for my stuff, I just walk around like I have all day. Eventually I end up talking to some bearded guy working at a North Face store (located inside the library/transit station) and telling him that I should probably cancel my credit cards. He is confused because I am speaking English and he is Viennese and speaks just a touch of the Mother Tongue. He finally understands what I need and then I wake up.

What an unsatisfying dream. First off, I don’t get to see much of Vienna. I would hope my brain could create a better Vienna than that, but I guess not. Second, I never get to cancel my credit cards. I would like to have the opportunity to close that loop so I don’t spend the rest of the day wondering if someone is out there spending my money. Third, why can’t North Face hire a more helpful employee? I understand that my dream lacks a little verisimilitude, but come on North Face, why can’t you hire an American to help me out in my dream?

I do believe that dreams hold importance, but I’m not so sure about this one. I have been thinking more about my trip now that it is less than 60 days away so I guess my brain is trying to tell me to be careful. Maybe my brain thinks it is unwise to wander around Europe for a month, but that is where my brain is wrong. It is very wise and it is time my brain got on board and understood that Vienna is a safe city even if it is filled with Russian gangsters.

I knew this must be out there. Cue Tom Cruise running.

The Mystery of Orange 444

Cover of "Memento"

Cover of Memento

I can remember being able to remember. There was a time when I did not need an electronic calendar to remind me when I had a meeting. There was a time when I would remember what to pick up in the store without a note. There was a time when I wouldn’t have to record everything in order to remember it, but I have slowly accepted that my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. Now I am not sure if technology is making my mind a mushy mess of unconnected thoughts or if it is simply the fact that I am aging and my brain is already retiring a little at a time. Why my brain is turning into oatmeal isn’t that important to me, what concerns me is losing perfectly good ideas because my head has a slow leak, so I have become pretty good at recording the little flashes that pop into my mind as I go through my day. These little fragments are usually related to writing and if I don’t write them down or record them they have a tendency to float off and are lost forever.

Last summer I was taking a writing class from Pam Houston and she said that when she has to remember something she tells someone else her idea. Once she tells the story she remembers it and doesn’t have to write it down. Well, I tried that and aside from sounding like a crazy person at times (my ideas are pretty fragmented and random) I also forgot my great idea anyway. So I went back to recording my little ideas on scraps of paper, notepads and my hand. If I was ever killed in an accident, the coroner might wonder what was going on because I might have written “a marble dolphin and Indian Chef” on my palm earlier in the day.

Recently I discovered the app Evernote. Evernote is a handy little program that is on my phone and home computer. If I come up with an idea I just put it into my phone  and it magically appears on my home computer. This little app will record verbal notes, pictures and text messages. So last night, as I was preparing to think about what I would write this morning, I checked my Evernote app for my last entry and found this little message: “Orange 444.” I didn’t remember putting “Orange 444” into my phone and spent 20 minutes trying to figure out what my past self was trying to tell my present self. I started to feel a bit like Guy Pearce in Memento. It is one thing to forget what I was supposed to remember, but it is completely different to feel like someone took my phone and typed something mysterious into it just to confuse me. I could not remember anything about Orange 444. I checked the date and time I entered the message hoping that there would be a clue there that would unlock the mystery. Sure enough, I entered Orange 444 around noon last Friday which was just about the time I was parking my car in a downtown Seattle garage.

So instead of having a great idea for my writing, I had recorded a parking space.

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