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Posts Tagged ‘dreams

Tin signed up for some sort of street fighting that has an anime/martial art overtone.  This was after some serious fight he got someone else involved in, and this someone else was a familiar figure in my dream, but now that I’m awake, I have no clue who this guy is.  He was short, and due to the serious injuries he sustained in my dream, he got even shorter.  His wife was glaring at me, saying “do you know that he lost 6 inches ??”  Why was it my fault? It was all relevant while I was dreaming but now it escapes me.

I was also living at someone’s house temporarily.  There were many floors to the house, and the house has an open floor plan on all the floors.  I went to the restroom to pee, then somehow I had to run something downstairs and I kept on peeing a trail from the restroom going down many steps to the ground floor (the steps are more like MIT building steps, wide and stone/cement-made).  All the while I was thinking “maybe I shouldn’t do this, it’s not my house, and if someone sees this, what would they say?”  Finally i stopped peeing, went out into an open park that has a lake, and sat down on top of a dike, swatting, and peed like I used to as a child in VN.  A kid went by and said “ha ha I saw your skirt flipped”  What the hell, stupid kid, this is the public restroom, I thought.

In my next dream, I had several sets of curtains, table cloths, towels, and decals.  These sets also included silk flowers.  Mom came by and was impressed by them – these are cheaply made, nothing fancy.  She liked the gaudiest set that I had, with bright coral red roses on white frilly lace.  She asked for them and promptly changed the look of her bathroom.  It looked cheap and ugly but we didn’t know what to say, it was her right.

Then I was in school, maybe high school, with Vietnamese classmates, speaking Vietnamese.  Co Hai was our teacher and was passing around posters promoting healthy eating habits and virtues of vegetables.  I commented that I wish for some canh bo^` ngo’t with thi.t ba(`m.  Then I looked around and noticed 2 of my classmates were wearing matching tops – nice sheer T’s the color of translucent sky blue.  Behind them, the whole row was in a uniform of white blouses, and a couple of other guys in other rows were in white tops too.  They sort of glowed.

In and out of these dreams was Jackie, trying to make her own Halloween costume.  She needed black knee high socks.  I said come over to my house, I bought some on clearance from Target last year, and I’m sure I have black, or at least, orange.  Jackie said maybe not today, but tomorrow she will come over after school to finish her costume at my place.

Then there was a familiar homeless Vietnamese that was somehow linked to my Mission Parish or St. Christopher Parish.  There was a youngish mom and her 4 children, at least 2 girls a a boy.  Somehow they were in bathing suits.  I wondered about them, but standing in front of the mom holding her 2nd youngest girl (also wearing a bathing suit, the JJ pineapple checkered bathing suit like the one MK has to be exact) I felt that it was best that I keep quiet.

I need more excitement in my dreams.

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I dreamt last night of returning to my old work place, ReadyPac.  Its main production center is in Irwidale, California, about 5 minutes’ drive from my parents’ house.  I worked in their R&D lab through my first two years in college, one of  the many ecclectic jobs on my resume.  It still feels nostalgic when I go to grocery stores and see products that I had worked on.  Smack in the middle of east San Gabriel Valley of southern California’s urban sprawl is this godforsaken city of Irwindale, a ghost town of little inhabbitans and if one does come from Irwindale, people would wonder how one has managed to survive.  It’s barren land, railroad tracks, stretches of Arrow Highway, factories, autocar racecourse, huge land fill …  It’s all there.  Once, I was bored enough to go look for Irwindale city library on my bike.  I rode up and down this tiny desolate city feeling pretty nervous because it looked so dead.  I finally found the library, looked at it, and quickly left.  It was a a tiny dingy one room shack with dirty books and dusty shelves, everything in there looked as if time had stopped.  It belongs to Six Flags Magic Mountain, those old depecrit-looking wild west sets that people often take pictures next to.  And the neighborhood matched the library in texture and mood.

I have not been back there for a while now, but with the hot real estate market down there, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see gated communities built on the vast landfill.  ReadyPac was smart when it bought as much land as it could on the border of Irwindale and West Covina, built their main production plant, storage, warehouse, corporate office, and reasearch lab.  Whenever I went outside through the back door with my dolly to move boxes of packaged salads, I would stop to look at the back lot filled with pallets, boxes, abandoned catterpillars.  All these things lay strewn on the cracked cement ground in the afternoon sun, resembling very much a playground of sort.  Beyond the wire fences were just more empty lands, weeds growing from the cracks, the mountain range shimmered in the hazy smog.  It’s fascinatingly depressing, everything there in the back lot seemed as if they were immediately forgotten as soon as you lay eyes on them, even if you’re looking at them still.  In the front lot, rows and rows of cars parked by all employees.  My car used to be among them too.  Most of the workers in the production plant were hispanic, if you walk into the production area armed with only English, you’re pretty much the odd one.  People were dilligent, friendly, helpful, and complacent, some sad stories went around there quite often, this so and so girl got hurt at work and got laid off without compensation, stuffs like that.  I learned so much from that job, so much from life was absorbed into me during those two years when I was open and impressionable.

The R&D lab was tucked away in the back of the building, one story high, built attached to the warehouse.  The warehouse had ceilings which were 3-4 stories high, the rooms were always dark, cool, and arid.  To get to the production area from our lab, I had to pass through one of these large dark rooms, with light only near the entrance of Production.  It always felt like walking in a dream, my dolly tinkerling on the cement floor, quietness surrounded me, and the fluorescent light at the entrance of Production beckoned.  Sometimes I was sent to the left wing warehouse to look for certain rolls of film, and that, too, was dreamy.  Pallets of cardboard boxes and films were stacked one story high in rows and blocks, with narrow gaps in between that only a small person like me could pass through.  Large passways for catterpillars to pass through separated the blocks, and only large passways have rows of lethargic yellow lights casting shaddows.  Light diminishes with each turn you take from the main passage, I always thought of this as a perfect place to play hide and seek.

In the beginning, it was fun and pleasant.  Dr. Mary was the supervisor for both the fruit lab and the salad lab.  Thong, a friend of my sister prior to knowing me, ran the fruit lab.  Mary ran the salad lab.  I worked mostly under Mary’s supervision, but did testings for Thong’s lab too, when I had time.  Everyone there worked well together, and got along well.  But that didn’t last.  Soon, Thong found a job nearer to home, and left.  Dr. Mary left shortly after Thong for a new job.  The big bosses hired a gruff looking buy who talked loud and talked B.S., who I immediately disliked upon meeting.  Several people were hired under him, they were mostly nice and pleasant to work for people, but the dynamic did not remain the same anymore.  No one trusted each other, people fought silent wars behind turned backs.  I left for college in 1999, and haven’t been back since then.

In my dream, I saw that I came to see Mary, and found the old warehouses and R&D building demolished.  To the left, two moderately tall new buildings stood as the coporate offices.  In front of me, vast space of dirt stretched into the horizon.  Mary showed me the plan for the new warehouse, production lines, and R&D lab.  It was going to be 10 stories high, big, imposing, and modern.  I told Mary how much I miss the old lab, the back lots and front lots, the humble way in which R&D attached itself to the warehouse, the fluorescent lit rooms with stainless steel tables where we did most of our works.  I woke up in the middle of telling Mary how I thought things were perfect and wonderful back then, and how it’s too bad that it got demolished and built on top, without leaving a trace.

It’s funny how we all wish for some sort of permanence, especially when it comes to buildings and places, when we ourselves are constantly changing.  Yet it can’t be helped.  I do wish for that, and I do wish to go back to ReadyPac and be able to sit infront of the door to the 40 Degrees Cooler room in the back lot, staring at forgotten pallets and catterpillars, rubbing my eyes to see the mountain range shimmering in the smog.  It’s as if I myself fear the changes in me and need the physical permanence of objects outside of my own memory to help preserve certain feelings, certain moods.  And then again, it’s not just that.  I have all the memories still rich, but one yearns for attachment to something, someone, unchanging, on which one can feel safe in order to go on evolving.  You know?

Recently the order has gone out that there will be drastic renovation works done on my floor at work, spaces will be reassigned, rooms reconstructed, furnitures changed, people moved.  That might explain why I have this sort of dream.  What do you know? Your not done with settling into this place after 5 years, and just when you thought this is how you like it, you’re on the move again.  Oh well, as long as it’s still within the building, not like moving 5 blocks up the street as they originally intended.

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I had a dream last night of listening to Trần Tiến performing his popular Vietnamese pop song mặt trời bé con. It was one of the most emotionally vested dream I have had thus far. I have had happy dreams, peaceful dreams, exciting dreams… but they were not as intense as my dream last night, they did not evoke complex feelings and brought me to tears. The emotions I experienced in my dream last night brought me to tears. The song was sung so beautifully that every single word made sense, and every single sound evoked a kaleidoscopic (damn, I was just guess-spelled that word and I got it right!) set of images and memories. I think probably this is what it feels like to approach another dimension – that, or being high on mushrooms (Mildred described a very similar experience when she got high and read Alice in Wonderland). And you know what, the sense of having experienced something life-changing is with me still, almost 4 hours after I have woken up.

In reality, Trần Tiến performed a horrible rendition of his own song. It’s so bad that I cannot bring myself to listening to it again. Ugh. Quang Dũng’s version is just OK, maybe a 6/10 rating, mostly because the music sucks. Will I ever find the music that I have heard in my dream? Is it a message from above that I should start singing ?? Do you even know which song I’m talking about???

In the 80’s Trần Tiến wrote this song, and it was very popular in Viet Nam. It was performed regularly on Weekly’s Requests program, and it was actually very well sung by someone I can’t remember. The lyrics are simple, but it’s experience-dependent. If you have grown up listening to your neighbor’s music as daily source of entertainment, then this song would be for you. Think of dirty alleys with laundry criscrossing, narrow houses crowding next to each other so that just normal-volume radio music from one end of the alley can be heard 5,6 houses down the alley. If you were a child with just some rusty tin cans and bamboo popsicle sticks sitting in the house trying to catch some flies, the music would float by your windows like a breeze in the afternoon, a patch of white clouds drifting across the blue sky, a delicious scent of food rising above whatever’s rotting down in the alley – an inadvertent gift from life, giving itself indiscriminately.

Here are the lyrics, in Vietnamese and translation respectively.

mặt trời bé con – sáng tác: Trần Tiến

Ngoài kia có cô bé nhìn qua khe nghe tiếng đàn của tôi
Ngoài kia có chú bé trèo cành me mắt xoe tròn lắng nghe
Đàn tôi hát câu gì mà sao cô bé cười ngộ ghê
Đàn tôi hát câu gì mà sao chú bé ngồi mơ màng
Hạnh phúc quá đơn sơ, đời tôi đâu có ngờ
Từng đêm cô bé chờ như chờ từng giấc mơ

Ngày xưa cũng như bé tuổi còn thơ tôi vẫn thường trộm nghe
Nhà bên có anh lính rời xa quê hay chơi đàn rất khuya
Đàn anh đã cho tôi trời xanh như ước mơ tuổi thơ
Đàn anh đã cho tôi dòng sông mang cánh buồm khát vọng
Tuổi thơ đã đi qua, giờ đây hát bên em
Từng đêm đứng quanh tôi những mặt trời bé con

Trời mưa quá em ơi, bài ca ướt mất rồi còn đâu
Trời mưa đến bao lâu mà sao em vẫn chờ vẫn đợi
Hạnh phúc quá đơn sơ đời tôi đâu có ngờ
Từng đêm em vẫn chờ, vẫn chờ đợi dưới mưa

Little Sunshines (cantabile)

Outside there’s a child looking in listening to me
Outside there’s a child on the tree listening to me
What songs my dear strings can sing to make her — smile
What songs my dear strings can sing to set him dreaming
So simple’s the joy, of little girls and boys
Upon dreams they wait, wait for me each night

Long, long time ago, as a child, I eavesdropped like them
A soldier nearby played his songs yearning for his home
The songs of his trings did bring dreams like high blue skies
The songs of his strings sailed me through rivers of hope
Childhood has gone by, now I sing each night
As children come by, these little sunshines

It’s drenching with rains, the song’s soaked through my dear
How long will it rain, how long will you still wait there
So simple’s the joy of little girls and boys
Each night as you wait, waiting in the rain

I should add a disclaimer right now that I have also had a different set of experience: my elementary school teachers, who were VietNamese Idol wannabe’s, used to play the guitar and sung their lungs out every afternoon horrible horrible songs that no one in my house wanted to hear. This craziness had forced my sister Tram to stick her head over our balcony and screamed over to the school “Thôi đủ rồi, khổ quá!” “Oh my god, enough already!” That brought the program to an immediate halt for the day, but picked up the next day all over again. This song was in their repetoire. Badly. So it brings to my mind both the pleasant and the funny memories.

By the bye, the picture up there is my 3 hours’ worth of messing with photoshop without a clue what the heck I was doing. Coincidentally, I love it, it’s exactly what I wanted. So please don’t take it from me, I’m sure I won’t be able to reproduce it again – ever.

oh damn! I just accidentally closed my composing browser by accident.  A gut sinking feeling.  Miraculously, Yahoo had the entire entry saved just in time!

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I like this blue sky green earth theme much better than all the previous ones.  The green was just too much, green & butter combination was not that great to look at.

I had a dream last night in which I was literally eating shit.  I saved all mine on a little pan-chan plate, they were about kitty sized, and i just popped one right in my mouth Image.  Then I thought “Wait a minute, I don’t have to eat this shit, I think”  So i flushed the rest away.  It happened at work in my dream, my mid day snack or something. I felt disgusted even in my dream.  ugh.  It’s spring time damn it, shouldn’t I be having dreams about butterflies and flowers and birds or something?

I stopped by a tiny Japanese market north of my house yesterday.  I’m about 1.5 miles from the big Japanese market and 0.5 miles from the small one.  Turns out the small one has most of what I need, so I’ll only need to walk 15 minutes to that market from now on, no need to do a 40 minutes walk.  The big market, on the other hand, has fresh wasabi.  From a wasabi farm in Oregon.  I definitely want to try some at my earliest convenience.  Small market sells things at a lower price.   A list of markets for An to envy:

Ranch99 Chinese market (mother of all asian markets around here) – behind my apt – 1 minute walk.

Trader Joe’s – 4 blocks from my apt, 7 minute walk

Alberston – in same plaza with Trader Joe’s, 8 minute walk

Longs Drugs – in same plaza with TJ, 7 minute walk

Small Japanese Market – 10 blocks form my apt, 15 minute walk

Price Costco – 1 mile from my apt, 20 minute walk

Safeway – 1 mile from my apt, 20 minute walk

Big Japanese market – 1.5 miles from my apt, 20 minute walk

Berkeley Bowl Market (mega grocery store) – 0.5 mile from my office, 15 minute walk every afternoon.

Koreana Super market (mega Korean grocery store) – 5 BART stops from my apt, about 20 minutes to get there by BART + 10 minutes walking

Oakland Chinatown – 6 BART stops from my apt….

The List can go on for ever.  There’s also a poutry market, a fish market, farmer markets on certain days …

An should move here.

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feeding time

… while it lasted.

I dreamt last night of going back to Viet Nam with Son and meeting up with my childhood friend, Lan Phuong, at last. She was the one true friend whose friendship i would always hark back and treasure. She has given me so much richness in life, and her subtle influences continue to shape me into who I am today. It wasn’t that she did anything dramatic or BIG, but she was just being herself, a kindhearted, trusting 10 year old who believed the best in people and had nothing to hide. She was friendly and approachable, was always willing to help, and spoke whatever that was on her mind tactfully. She shared with me whatever she had, and our friendship lasted from 2nd grade into 5th. I was only in the same class with her twice, once in 2nd and once in 4th, but we remained good friends because we were in Sunday to school together from 3rd grade through 5th grade.

In my dream, I went back to see her parents, who seems to have done well for themselves. They were still living in the same house, but no signs of a struggling economy for them. Her youngest sister, is now a high school kid (it’s true in real life i think, she must be 18 by now). I spoke to Phuong’s parents and sister, the whole time I was wondering where Phuong was. Finally I asked her parents, and they said she was inside, trying to emotionally prepare for our meeting. She came out, and we gave each other a long long hug. A sense of contentment filled me, a kind of contentment that is essential, but reassuring, like coming home everyday and finding that your house hasn’t burnt down, that kind of thing. I looked at my friend, who has somehow grown stocky, but that didn’t matter much. We touched each other’s arms, and we talked about things. She’s doing well, working as … (she told me in my dream, but I can’t remember now). Surprisingly, she did not finish college, something to do with working to help putting her 2 younger sisters through college. I told her how I often think of her in my waking hours, imagining her married and settling down with kids much sooner than me; imagining her struggling to make do with everyday’s life, the way everyone were struggling to make ends meet when we were together in VN. But no, she said, she’s doing quite well financially. I suggested that we should go out and eat a meal together, so that we can talk one on one. I told her of my dreams about her, of dreams I had about her parents opening a coffee stand in the dark alley near her house, and she was smiling the whole time. I told Son to stay at my parent’s house in VN (in reality, that house has been confiscated by the government and given to some commies) while I go out with Phuong. Just when we were about to leave, I woke up.

The whole dream was so realistic that at one point, I was telling myself that I’m really in VN at last, that it’s not a dream because I can remember a dream I had about Lan Phuong, andthus i recounted it to her to prove to myself that I was not dreaming. I wanted so bad for it to be a reality, because I saw my friend well and happy, everyone were happy, it was just … perfect.

Strange how people shape one’s life like Lan Phuong has shaped mine. It was her kindness that made this world nice to be part of. I will definitely look her up, some day.

I had a dream last night that Cezane was a woman and I was married to her.  I wandered through her house and couldn’t find one recognizable painting.  It dawned on me then that all of her famous and therefore valuable paintings are currently in museums or private collectors’ homes.  Being married to Cezane was absolutely worthless.  bitch.

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happenings right now

Later!

May 2019
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