Have you ever met someone so pure they give you a contact high?

I was looking over somebody’s shoulder on the bus. He was writing a Facebook status that read “TGIF everybody ūüôā Do your best! I’m the best! ;)”. He stared at it without posting for at least four minutes as if a chef scanning his mind for the perfect spice. I think I may have just witnessed a real life carebear.

I had weird dreams last night (for a change?). All over the map. I’m pretty sure my brain made a new Rick and Morty episode. They went to an interstellar Air BnB and got trapped by one of Rick’s many old nemeses. It took control of their bodies and tortured them, then forced them to fight in some intergalactic boxing match. Eventually Rick managed to turn the tables on this foe and get the better of it, but it was hardly an inspired plot. It made a lot less sense than an actual episode and the jokes were far less clever.

We’ve got the work Christmas party today, which is better than not having a Christmas party, but pales compared to the pre-merger parties. Pre-merger we had these massive shindigs. The company once rented the Ripley’s Aquarium. It was magical. Drink stations everywhere, people walking around with cake pops. A vodka/oyster station was a little on the nose at an aquarium, but the whole event was amazing. The next year they rented a large industrial space and had a phenomenal 1920s speakeasy party (complete with password entry). Outstanding food, neat cocktails, phenomenal music. Fortune telling and fake gambling, a photo booth with props. Such a fantastic night.

Post-merger things have been different. Christmas parties are now done at work in the atrium. They’re during the workday, so everyone needs to rush to finish their work before the party starts. There’s no chance to get all dressed up, we can’t bring partners. I totally get that they’re doing what they can on a budget and that’s fine, it’s just a big step down to take without stumbling. The food is still excellent, it’s fun for the three hours it lasts. Then everyone ships off to an after party at some bar. Whelming.

I bet that carebear dude from earlier would love it though. I don’t know if he has a negative bone in his body.

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Is this what a level up feels like?

This entry is going to be the epitome of vague-booking. I did something today that terrified me, but I pushed through anyway. There will be no specifics because there aren’t specifics yet. I don’t want to jinx a thing. However I’m nervous, excited, shaken and proud, which seems worth talking about.

It’s no secret that I’ve felt listless lately. Stagnant even. I’ve had no career movement in far too long and it’s caused me no end of anguish. My lack of direction has left me brick-walled and I’ve had nobody else to blame. Any progress would be impossible without putting in the work, which seems altogether too obvious when I put it in writing. In short, I needed to do something.

A few months back I was doing some voicing and a stranger point blank asked me what my dream job was. That’s a frank, bold question to lob at someone you’ve just met but for some reason without thinking I had an answer. It was thorough and direct, with more confidence and candour than it deserved, considering how hard my brain was scrambling after my mouth. I finished. She nodded and said “you should do that”. I stood there shocked and took in what I’d said. Where had it come from?

I thought about it for the next few days. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the next month. Then I did something I rarely ever do: I asked for help.

I bypassed a few rungs on the corporate ladder and went to the highest ranked person I knew. I told him I had something I wanted to pitch, but felt way over my head and wanted some advice. He’d always been an honest, no nonsense person to deal with in the past. He never sugarcoated anything, but he knew what he was talking about. He said to look at his calendar and book an appointment. I booked something an hour later.

I laid out my idea in a vague sense. Told him where I saw it going, how it could be implemented. He tore holes in it, pointed out all the weak spots in my plan. He told me to come up with answers and schedule another meeting. I came back to him a week later with a more solid outline. He told me who I should pitch to and how to angle it towards them. Once again he poked holes, then told me to fix them and bring the answers in the form of a sales deck. I’d never made one, so he gave me concrete directions on how to structure it. Exactly how long it should be, which sections to focus on, how my content would fit. I came back a week later with my results. He critiqued it some more with mostly aesthetic advice and told me he’d let the party involved know that I had his blessing. He thought it was a great idea and I’d brought it up at an opportune time. I thanked him for all the help and went to set up a pitch meeting. I was told that they were too busy at present, but wanted to hear my ideas in 4-6 weeks.

I felt brushed off and rejected. Any momentum I had ground to a halt. 4-6 weeks passed. Months passed. Things at work got worse. I felt embarrassed that I had failed to deliver on the summation of my effort. That I’d wasted the time of someone important who’d put themselves out for me. Work continued to get worse and none of my job interviews paid off. It felt like I’d hit rock bottom. I felt ashamed. What a waste, letting this idea with so much potential flounder uselessly.

I realised that things couldn’t get worse, so what did I have to lose trying to do something about it? I got back in contact with the person I was originally gonna pitch to. They were busy, but booked a meeting a week later between me and two of their subordinates. I couldn’t tell if this was a meeting of obligation or genuine interest. It didn’t matter. I went back to my sales deck, tightened it up. I thought about how the landscape had changed and new ideas for implementation. As the meeting loomed I was shitting myself. I’d struggle to get to sleep, then wake up at 4am because I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas. I was nervous, excited and shaken, but I was ready.

Today I had the meeting. The AV equipment in the meeting room I’d booked didn’t work. They said it was fine, that we could find another room. We walked the floor looking for an unused meeting room with the right equipment. We found one that worked and I took a deep breath. I explained that I was nervous, that I’d never even used PowerPoint before, but I had conviction in my ideas. They smiled and I started.

I went through my presentation and spoke off the top of my head. Magically, everything flowed. I’d go into immense detail on one topic, then move tangentially into another without thinking. Then I’d realise that I’d pivoted to the next point on my slide without thinking. It kept happening. I expanded upon ideas in depth, threw out examples on the fly that were in themselves solid ideas. They were nodding, asking questions. Without effort, I had a good answer every single time. I was open, honest and realistic about scale. My concepts were relevant to the company and gave valid insight into how it could fit into and augment current strategies.

I got to the end of my prepared presentation and they kept asking questions. They started coming up with ideas on how it could work too. They got excited and started looking at the impending schedule to see how they could implement my ideas. We started talking timelines and practical steps. We kept talking. They said they’d run it up the ladder, get feedback and see where we could go from there. I felt anything but placated. I felt vindicated. I thanked them for their time and they thanked me for mine. We went our separate ways and I had a brisk walk to take a breather.

So what now? I wait, then follow up. I keep momentum without being pushy. I cross my fingers and hope that their enthusiasm was genuine. Then whatever comes, I follow through and deliver. It could be big. It’s definitely exciting (and a little scary).

It’s also leagues better than doing nothing.

I would also accept a Cranston and Zilla buddy cop film.

I’ve got nothing in particular on my mind, so I can’t conceive of a better time to get into it. Let’s get messy!

Sometimes I think I have worms, but then I remember I ate corn recently.

My girlfriend and I watched Godzilla (2014. Definitely not 1998) and I couldn’t help but think¬†what right does this movie have to make me feel so goddamn emotional? Bryan Cranston killed it as per usual. Ridiculous. I’d be all¬†well, I could do with a colossal spined lizard causing mass property damage¬†and suddenly Cranston would show up and do¬†his dead wife speech¬†and I’d think¬†why am I crying right now?¬†He was too good an actor for that kind of flick. Then Elizabeth Olsen showed up and I was left wondering why she got so few scenes that accomplished anything. Then the movie finished and I realised that the human characters aren’t meant to matter and I cared a little less. About everyone but Zilly, Mothster and Cranston anyway. Would’ve been a much better in a cinema. The audio especially was stupendous.

I can’t remember my dream last night, but I know it involved some kind of corporate espionage or money laundering and I’ve been feeling mildly responsible all day. It reinforced that I’d have no place in any major fraud operation. Sure, if I found a $5 bill on the floor at work I’d pocket it. I’m unsure what my peak number would be though. $20 I’d maybe leave it on my desk and see if anyone came to claim it. $50 probably the same. Once I got to $100 however, I’d probably send an email out and ask if anyone was missing something. If a co-worker felt okay about lying to that extent, I’d hardly feel bad about losing something that was never truly mine and entirely okay with them facing their conscience.

This is why I’m not good at competitive board games.

I read today that the most brutal monopoly strategy is to race to complete sets and start buying up all the houses. I’m sure this sounds obvious, but the less obvious part is that there’s a finite supply of houses. If you get the majority, other players will be incapable of completing sets and upgrading to hotels. It’ll create tiers and force your opponents out of the game. It’s known as the Elfer strategy and you can read about it here. I’m quite fine giving this away to anyone who’ll read it, because I will never again play Monopoly in my life. There’s zero fun to be garnered and only active fury. I would rather physically spar with friends and, if you know me at all, you know how much this would tear me apart. Monopoly is worse.

Cue a dream tonight where I go feral and rend my friends limb from limb.

To know him is to love him. No question.

My dreams have been an orgy of starfucking lately. Not sure why. Perhaps innate delusions of grandeur or my subconsciousness compensating for my pervasive dour mood. Whatever it is, in moments of reverie I’ve been partying with the rich and famous. The weird thing is, it’s all been tied into this idea that I’m back home in New Zealand. I haven’t lived there in over four years. Why now?

The other night I dreamt that Harmontown was on another tour, except this time it was a world tour. They were travelling around the globe on a combination of flights and tour buses. Thing was, with such a lengthy trip, they wanted all the comforts of home. Accordingly, they were making stops along the route to sleep over at fans’ houses. In the dream it made sense. They wanted hot meals, soft beds and showers. It was part outreach, but mostly for comfort’s sake. I’d volunteered my parents’ place, since it had gratuitous bedrooms and more than all of the comforts of home. Dan, Jeff, Spencer et al drove the bus down their long, steep driveway and somehow parked on that slanty bastard of a hill.

It was a dream come true (in the dream, at least). We all sat around the table, wolfing down pancakes and orange juice. Somehow in my dream I knew it was dinner time, which only made it better. Why not breakfast for dinner when you’re hosting company? There was an amicable, familial atmosphere and nothing performative. I didn’t feel nervous, there was no status imbalance, nothing. Just a nice meal around the table. Then one of my friends (a fellow fan) came around to join in and I started waking up. As I roused from rest, I blamed her for bringing me back to this harsh, unforgiving reality. Several days later, I still do.

Last night I dreamt that I had a decent part in The Big Sick, the Kumail Nanjiani/Emily V. Gordon romantic comedy. As a fan of their previous work, it was gratifying to be able to not only meet them, but have an active role in bringing the story of their relationship to light. They were warm and friendly on-set and off. Enough that once the job was over, we still kept in touch.

Not only that, but I had an unexpected and newfound celebrity in public. The kind that rarely exists in real life, but dream logic had no issue spoon feeding me. I did talk shows, podcasts, etc. People on the street would say hi, but not be pushy demanding my time. The role hadn’t been big enough to warrant it, after all. It was nice to feel respected and admired, but I didn’t feel like my privacy was being compromised. Lucky, eh?

I awoke from the dream, went to the bathroom and fell back asleep. The next dream retained my dream logic from the previous one. In this dream, however, I met Jeff Goldblum. Kind of. In this dream I’d supposedly always known Jeff Goldblum. I was walking past the Bridgeway Theatre in Northcote Point and Jeff waved at me. “Hey bud, remember me?” He asked. I paused for a second.¬†Did we meet on set somewhere? I thought.¬†How would I know Jeff Goldblum? He’s many rungs above my level. He did my job for me. “Don’t you remember the time you went for a bike ride and got locked out?” He inquired.

I thought to myself for a second and it sprang to mind. Of course, I was a little kid and I’d whipped out on my BMX to bike under the bridge. I had a great ride around The Point, but when I arrived back nobody was home. I didn’t have my key on me and this was a pre-cellphone time. I’d knocked on the door of my mysterious new neighbour to ask if they could help me out. A tall man welcomed me in (zero fear of stranger danger) and I used his phone to ring my parents at the office. My mum came to pick me up and Jeff became a close family friend. It was mega weird that I’d forgotten all that history with someone I’d grown up around. I chastised myself and my poor memory.

Even as I woke, the dream logic still seemed so real. I’ve thought to myself a bunch of times today¬†did I really not know Goldblum?

Though that begs the question, can anyone really know Jeff Goldblum?

So we part-y-ed ways?

A night of fitful sleep meant I had a cluster of bizarre dreams. It’s not uncommon for me(as you probably know by now), but it’s weird for me to have dreams so obviously steeped in purpose. It¬†is uncommon for me to believe in messages from dreams (cut to the anthropomorphic evocation of my subconscious shaking its fist at the sky and muttering under its breath). I’m still not sure where last night’s visions sit on the scale. Maybe that’ll click once they’re down on the page.

The main dream I remember involved being at work. Do I get overtime for this? There was some kind of company-wide festival going on. Tons of departments were hosting their own little soirees. I was walking around the building with my boss, working our way around the different parties. Totally innocent, we just wanted to scavenge food and drinks. Totally just scabbing. Between his rank and my bullshitting over-friendliness, we were playing a good game. After scoffing and scarfing (oh wow, I didn’t realise that had a different meaning) all we could, it was time to go back to work. Neither of us really felt like it, so said I could skive off work all I liked as long as I stayed in the building.

I stopped off at my friend’s desk to see if he had anything fun to do (dream logic, it was a friend I grew up with. In reality this person doesn’t even live in Canada). He said that he was throwing a party for a mutual friend of mine (also doesn’t live in Canada) and he was getting overloaded with actual work as well. He asked if I could help by inflating a bunch of balloons. I said sure and followed him into a small party room. All the decorations and the cake were in place, there was a helium tank, some ribbon and a bunch of uninflated balloons. I attached the helium canister’s nozzle and got to work.

While I was in university I worked at a party store part time. Dream me obviously remembered this. I checked the balloons to see what kind of quality they were. They weren’t great. I tried stretching them out a bit and it only helped so much. I pulled my ribbon close and cut off a bunch of strands. With my little battlestation set up, I started filling. They were a cluster of different patterns, but it was bugging me that I wasn’t getting the pleasant lightbulb shape into these shitty balloons. Still, I persisted. I blew them up, knotted them and tied the ribbon on the end. It took a while, but I was finally getting down to the last few balloons when my friend whose party it was walked in.

The party guy barely said hi and started calling the shots. He looked at the balloons and said they were bullshit and looked lame. He ridiculed them, which I felt sort of bummed about because of some vague (misguided. I was never that great at the job IRL) professional pride. Also the fact that I’d been helping out of my own generousity. He said the balloons had to go and they’d get some better ones instead. He told me they’d go off to pick them up and I could fill them when he got back.

I’d had it. I told my friend to fuck off and shove the helium canister up his ass. I told him that he was always like this, ever since we were kids. That he constantly mooched off others and took advantage of any generousity he could. I told him that’s why we’d stopped spending much time around each other as we grew older and grew apart. I told him that we were through. I meant it. I walked out and met my other friend. We left work and went fishing with a six pack of beer.

It’s weird, because I basically have cut ties with this friend outside my dreams. The scenario in my dream was simultaneously more farcical and dramatic than what happened. As I grew up he stopped being a relevant person in my life. I wanted to hang around him less and less. He only got in touch when he wanted something and never reciprocated. It’s odd that my brain has held onto this for so long, considering I haven’t thought of him in ages.

Why now?

As soon as I fell out I was all “put me back in, coach”.

I had a dream last night about going away to a holiday home with a bunch of old friends. It was a dream, so things were temporally and physically jumbled. I felt like we were in Ohakune, where my family had our old ski batch. However, the home didn’t resemble my family property at all. It was massive, with a pool and everything. We sat on the deck and drank beer. We all caught up on what we’d been up to over the years, scattered around the world. It was comforting to be surrounded by so much love. I’m not maudlin about it, but clearly deep down I miss all these people. They were a part of my life for some time and those experiences are all a part of me.

In the dream I stayed at the home while everyone else went back to work. I discovered that another friend had a home nearby. Since the rental period was up, I crashed at her place. We were awoken one night by a massive storm. Gusts buffeted the house as rain fell in sheets. It got worse. The winds howled like a beast possessed and I started to feel uneasy. The house felt like it was lurching to the side. The section of roof above my bed flew off into the night. I realised just how bad things were and ran into my friend’s bedroom. She was hanging onto a beam, being pulled into an enormous tornado. I grabbed a rope, tied myself to a foundation and jumped up to grab her. Our combined weight brought us both down to the ground. We huddled together and waited for the storm to abate. At some point the winds died out and the sun came up. At some point I fell asleep.

Over the next while I stayed behind to help with renovations. I have zero skill at building anything, so my brain did its best to fill in the dream gaps. I’m pretty sure there was some kind of musical montage. In any case, it seemed like I was being useful, if I needed a clear indication that this was a dream. We were up on the roof trying to fix the missing panels, when we felt wind on the horizon. We clung together, but the winds didn’t amount to much. We looked into each other’s eyes and kissed. It was brief, then we sort of shifted apart and continued to work, saying nothing. Days passed and we didn’t talk much. I remember furtively glancing at her to see if she was looking back. Real high school shit. Disappointed, I assumed it meant nothing and went on with the work. Eventually she turned to me and asked “hey, that thing the other day. Are we gonna talk about it? Like, is that something you’d want to do again?” I grinned and nodded. I turned to face her and… woke up.

I looked at my clock. I still had 20 minutes before I had to be awake. I willed myself to go back to sleep. I tried not to think, but in doing so kept thinking about it. I managed to get back to sleep, but landed somewhere else, rather than back where I was. I woke to my alarm unfulfilled, wanting. She’d always been a close friend and nothing more. Being honest with myself, I’m pretty sure I always had feelings for her, but I’d quashed them because the friendship was more important. I figured that was that, but my subconscious clearly had other ideas. It stayed with me this morning and I thought about it a little more. To be clear, none of this is a resurgence of some melancholic heartbreak. There wasn’t any of that. My heart didn’t pine for her whenever I saw her face. We had a close friendship that I’m pretty sure was mutually fulfilling. It also has no relevance to my current life. I’m in a wonderful relationship with a woman who really gets me. This dream felt more whimsical, really. My mind delving into the past, bringing someone I hadn’t thought of for years to the fore. Revisiting her even in a dreamscape was a pleasant surprise, even if I know that in reality we wouldn’t make any sense for each other at 30.

We’d make about as much sense as my subconscious brain thinking I have any building skills. If anything, that was the biggest flight of fancy.

Wet feet, cold feet, I’d take it.

A combination of dairy before bed last night meant weird dreams to follow. How weird? You tell me.

The first dream is a little hazy in my mind. I remember my girlfriend and I going to an Amanda Palmer concert. We were right up the front, right in “mosh central”. I shouted out a song request that got cheers from people around me. Amanda couldn’t quite hear it, so she thrust the mic my way. I got nervous and screwed up the word order. It made very little sense. The rest of the crowd booed. I shouted out “wait, I got nervous and messed that up. I’ll do better this time.” Strangely, Palmer complied and put the mic in front of me once more. I said it again, the way I’d intended. She nodded and the crowd roared in approval. She launched into whatever song it was I’d requested. I felt vindicated and the rest of the concert was great. My girlfriend and I came home and crashed in bed.

Then I woke up in the real world and went to the bathroom. I was floppy from the melatonin, so I stumbled around a little as I remembered how my limbs worked. I did my bathroom thing, then fell back into bed, finding sleep once more.

I found myself on the way to a job interview at some boutique advertising agency. I was dressed in a fancy suit, though in retrospect maybe too fancy for a job interview. It was shiny and gold, like something I’d imagine Elton John wearing in his prime. Oddly though, I’d decided to pair it with open toed sandals. I think I was on my way from the airport. I didn’t know it for sure, but I was in a shuttle van and had luggage with me. I arrived and looked at the agency from the outside. To be honest, it looked kind of like they’d converted an old bungalow into a funeral parlour. Large vases with ornate flower displays stood inside bay windows. A red carpet extended from the porch into the front door. The carpet was a shade of baby blue and the walls were a darker sapphire. I shrugged, grabbed my bags and walked inside.

I was greeted by a woman in her 30s. Hair pulled up into a bun. Bulky square glasses. Flowing floral dress. She was barefoot. The soles of her feet were covered in baby blue paint, her hands with sapphire. Odd, I thought. I shook her hand. Mine came away sapphire. She brought me over to a bar style desk in the centre of the room, where another associate was standing. “Are you ready to begin?” She asked. I nodded. She clicked the play button on a boom box and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” began playing. She and her associate started to dance. Her eyebrow rose. It felt like she was implying I should dance along. I started moving, then noticed that my suit was ripped from my elbow all the way down the side.¬†It must’ve been from the Amanda Palmer concert last night. I thought. I took off my suit jacket and continued dancing. My interviewer nodded and the music ceased. I looked down at her bare feet. Her associate also had bare feet. I kicked off my sandals and stood on the carpet. My feet felt wet. I realised that the carpet and walls were covered in wet paint. Everyone around the office had feet stained baby blue and hands stained sapphire.

My interviewer and her associate told me that they’d been watching me for some time and liked my work. They appreciated my attitude, but that there was a final test I needed to pass. They invited me into a boardroom with a vast table in the centre. An intricate and complicated board game covered the table, pieces lining the side. It looked like the entire company was there. Everyone was high-fiving everyone else. It seemed bizarre and cultish. I felt immediately uncomfortable. We took turns choosing tokens, but I couldn’t escape the notion that everyone was judging me. It was too much, I had to leave. I excused myself and walked out the door.

I realised that I’d left my luggage inside and returned. The interviewer was standing in the doorway. “You had your chance.” She spat venomously. Her face split apart into a sharp toothed grin, a snake’s tongue flicking in and out of her mouth. Lightning surged around her fists. I looked down and fire erupted from my palms, enveloping my hands in a burning aura. I charged at her headfirst…

…and heard the quiet tones of my alarm. I know, I’m as disappointed as you. I wanna know how that ended.

I mean, did I get the job or not?