June 2nd, 2008

Blow My Mind

VERY vivid.

The dreams remain vivid. VERY vivid. And, last night, a little disturbing. Like the line-up of people in a New York government building, all people needing unusual medical attention, including a tall woman...who wasn't immediately recognizable as a woman, because her skin was transparent, and her head was mainly marked by what seemed to be a free-floating network of blue capillaries. I could look through the capillaries and in places see the room beyond her.

And a really sad, disturbing scene another time: me being in the same car as where a mob murder happens. I was crouched down in such a way that the murder was blocked by a seat back, but I had this ugly, sad, thudding sense that death had just happened very close to me. And the murderer (what is it with the actor appearances?) looked like a grim-faced 1950s Henry Fonda. Hell, he almost looked like he himself was in black-and-white, or at least monochrome.

There also was, I'm glad to say, less disturbingly sad imagery: a crowd leaving a baseball game, and a repeatedly on-fire round object (on-fire inside a fish tank, somehow) getting flash-frozen to stop the fire. Still, oddly repetitive and just odd.

I don't normally put dream posts behind cuts or Friends-lock them, but both actions seemed appropriate this time (11/27/2011 Edit: It's opened up now.). I'm not quite sure why my mind's coming up with these. If it's an expression of my nervousness over work, I hope that nervousness settles. I want vivid dreams, not disturbing ones. Please?


Apparently it's possible to have the name "Shiney."

Apparently it's possible to have the first name "Shiney."

(Maybe it's pronounced "Shinn-AY"...)
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iAm iSaid

A period of adjustment

"But things change! People change. Hairstyles change. Interest rates fluctuate..."

Today I made progress in making a change. As I've only mentioned on friends-locked entries until now, my job is changing. Instead of working in an OHSU office, I'm starting to work from home -- some OHSU work, though that's likely to get scaled back or phased out, and work for other parts of my company.

I started working from home on Friday. Today I did that in the morning, then headed up the hill to the hospital (via the bus and the tram), turned in my "OHSU contracter" badge, grabbed some equipment I'd been unable to get from the office last week, and visited some of my co-workers. I let them know I still exist and will continue to exist.

I was lucky to be able to do that trip on a nice, comfortable, sunny afternoon, the part of today that was most comfortable and sunny. It's a nice trip up to the hospital; it's also a nice trip walking off of the hill, which I did. (I also treated myself to lunch at the Lair Hill Market, a cafe on the way to a bus stop near the bottom of the hill.)

Now, I'm getting stuff done and adjusting to full-time home-based work, which I've never done before. I'm both nervous and excited: I hope I can work well here, and I'm looking forward to making this apartment a better place to work. (A new desk chair is in my future. This one is nearly 10 years old and is just a little too low for proper ergonomic purposes. Plus it's no longer so padded.)

Okay, now time for dinner.

FLASHBACKS: Patrick Stewart, conventionally speaking (1993)

You’d have liked Mike Pearl. Beginning this entry of Flashbacks this way requires me to point out that Mike’s been gone 11 years this August; and I feel I should admit that I handled his loss…with difficulty. (1997 was a difficult, up-and-down summer for me.)

I liked Mike Pearl. We had a friendship, from high school to college, where both of us kept thinking I’m friends with him! That’s so cool! We were simultaneously mentors to and protégés of each other; we inspired each other. He wrote for the Entertainment section of our high school paper when I was the editor; I wrote for This Space For Rent, Mike’s Star Trek: The Next Generation fanzine.

Around Labor Day ’93, before returning to Oregon for my sophomore year of college, I attended a Creation Con in the Washington, D.C. area and saw special con guest Patrick Stewart. I wrote about Stewart’s speech; Mike ran it in the Sept./Oct. ’93 issue of TSFR, which he titled “Stew-Fest ’93!” He titled the piece and edited it in ways that made it slightly his; in other words, what follows is not my final draft of the write-up, but something with both of our handprints on it.

Now I shall show you (minus the spelling errors, mine and his: Mike’s spelling mistakes became a running joke; he’d call them “speeling errrors”) what my writing was like in 1993:

Height, hair loss and pajamas with Patrick Stewart: A convention attendee’s report

by Christopher Walsh

Patrick Stewart is taller than you’d expect. While this has partly to do with the fact that the man has a presence, at the Creation Convention held recently in D.C., it had a lot to do with Stewart being up on stage. Viewers are used to seeing him next to TNG’s resident Rock of Gibraltar, Jonathan Frakes, which distorts reality.

Stewart opened his one-and-a-half hour chat by explaining his “unusually informal” attire: jeans, sneakers, a loose and rumpled white shirt and a ballcap that read STEWART. The cap was from a California surt shop and was given to him by a fan, “since, after all, I am quite a big name in surfing.

“What I like about this cap,” he said, “is when you’re directing, you get to lean into the camera to check the angle and so you get to…” and he turned the cap brim-backwards. The audience hooted with enjoyment.

Stewart allows one personal question at each of his convention appearances. At this con, a fan asked, “For the benefit of me and my girlfriends, what do you wear to bed?”

Stewart, with a thoughtful expression, answered “Well, the last time I wore anything to bed…” and the rest was drowned out with laughter, cheers and whistles. (For those readers with inquisitive minds, he wore a flannel half-robe to bed on a winter night when it was actually cold in L.A.)

Stewart seemed genuinely surprised and touched every time a fan called him a great romantivc leading man, especially when a fan yelled out “You’ll always be our romantic hero, Patrick” when he was discussing the image of the Romantic Hero.

When a fan brought up the fact that many people who find Patrick Stewart irresistible feel similarly about Sean Connery, Stewart recounted the story of Connery’s visit to the set of TNG. Back during the first season, Frakes and Stewart were filming the bar scene from “10011001,” when they were interrupted by a tall man in a Navy Admiral’s uniform – Sean Connery, in a costume from The Presidio, also shooting on the Paramount lot – walked across the stage and right between the two actors.

“Jonathan was the quickest to recognize him,” Stewart admitted, “and he had enough presence of mind to say ‘Enjoy your tour, sir.’” Stewart went on to add that Connery walked directly and purposefully towards a corner of the set…and then had to turn around and go back because there was no exit on the side to which he’d walked.

“So, technically, I have been on film with Sean,” Stewart said.

Stewart told stories about his early life. He grew up in the north of England, in regions thick with dialect. He credits the power of his voice partly to the fact that “Yorkshiremen tend to have naturally rich, strong baritones,” and partly to the fact that had to undergo extensive voice training simply to be able to speak in a non-dialect English.

Stewart also related one of the traumatic events of his early life: he was almost completely and utterly bald by the age of 20. He admitted that he actually had taken school grant money of his and had used it to try every potential “baldness cure” he could pay for.

A man stood up and said how he had also lost his hair at a young age. Stewart empathetically asked, with a tortured chuckle, “It happened to you, too? Wasn’t it awful?”

After the discussion of hair loss, a fan whom Stewart had called on asked him to identify a photo which she had bought at the convention. It showed Stewart with long, curly, dark hair. Stewart recognized it as a photo of him as Oberon from a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from the late ’70s.

For a fitting finale, Patrick Stewart recited, from memory, a Shakespearean speech that he had been reminded of when a fan asked about the photo. He spoke of watching Cupid’s arrow strike a white flower, which then grew “purple with love’s wound.”

The audience looked like they had fallen in love.