Monthly Archives: December 2009

emigration/beach

Oops, I’ve been letting some remembered scenes go by without even setting them down in a draft. I remember one scene though from each of the night before last and last night, which I’m just going to mash out both of in this post. What I remember from the first night is that I was assuming the role of a student in the USSR, who along with three other students was going to try to clandestinely escape the country. I was confused about where exactly I was and remember consulting with my parents on this seemingly prior to actually being there (we had to check the kitchen for bugs that might have been planted by the authorities). The plan seemed to be to take a train to Sweden and then to Finland around the Gulf of Bothnia, and then to fly to the US. In my head this was because Sweden, being a quasi-socialist state, was accessible from the USSR, and Finland was accessible from Sweden. There were a few locations, the first one being the covered entryway of a school building in, I guess, wherever we were in the USSR, with a glazed wall adjacent (on the east side), and we the students were entering the building at dusk; maybe it was raining; there was a lot of low-level artificial light from street lights and the inside of the building. There was the NH kitchen, as aforementioned, also lit dimly; there was a flying-overhead view of the NH field while I was hearing about the train travel plans. Weird.

The scene I remember from last night, then, is that on a warm sunny late afternoon in a summery season I was at a sort of ocean-scale version of the Norway Pond beach, and there were some amusing party people doing antics; I hung around for a while, there were a few friends there, and as I was about to leave, a whole slew of other friends arrived and congregated by a large tree on the beach (a palm?) and I stayed and hung out with them.

studio ship

Oops I almost started a new backlog up, but I decided to just get this done instead. From last night (21-22) the only scene I really remember is that my class had been having studio on a largish steel ship, and it was seemingly near the end of the semester now; we were out on the open water, and it was a hazy-clouded sunny afternoon. People working on different levels of the ship didn’t see each other’s work often; for instance, I was on an upper level (where there were large windows) and toured around a lower, clerestory-windowed level, and there I saw the work of lots of people that I hadn’t seen much at all as it developed through the semester.

review prep

Finally, here we are, all caught up. I woke up this morning (the 19th) into a dream that it was 1:40 PM and I had a review the very same afternoon. I had to readjust the excessively blurred paths and nodes on my site plan, which were in white, against a black background (with more colorful elements present as well), before I could print it out. I no longer recall what the inner dream was before that. I also have a memory that seemed to accompany the above, that I was walking or running along a winding open green space bordered by woods, extended generally east-west but with many turns, almost like a river through woods without the river; it was a sunny afternoon. It was somewhat Jensenesque except that the sun-opening was continuous, not episodic. Anyway, when I woke up for real and realized that final review and all the rest of my work for the semester had IRL come and gone already and that I didn’t really actually need to do that much today (besides catch up on this dang backlog), it was a wonderful flood of relief.

sunspots

From yesterday morning, the 18th: I was with WU UD classmates in a linear yard like a railyard, in the mid-morning. The depots and yard pointed south, though it alternatingly also seemed like west; there were light altostratus in the sky, but I was able to see sunspots on the sun, and I was seeing it as if in a zoomed-in view. The sunspots were really extensive, and they were often streaky; this was my brain’s conflation of two things it had IRL read about in this article: computer simulations of sunspot mechanics and dust devil streaks on the surface of Mars.

Norway slides

From the 17th (getting close!): I was in wintry Norway, but the clearing I was in was like the RL west edge (seemed like southeast) of the 14th hole at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda, with long view toward north (RL southeast) and southwest (RL north — this reminds me of how messed up my directions at Whale Bay are, similar to Helsinki [see previous post]). It was twilight; late deep daylight was coming mainly from the northwest. It was snowy and icy; I was traversing a ridge on southeast border of the clearing next to the woods. The ridge had a line of bowls (only about 10′ wide) carved into it, while it was flattish in the middle of the clearing. The height of the ridge increased toward the southwest; at the beginning, at the northeast end, I was able to slide down the bowls gently, but as I moved southwest, the slopes were more and more jagged, and I had to step down. There tended to be steps of stacked slate near the bases of these steeper bowls to aid in the climb, but the steps were oft somewhat iced-up, so that much care was still needed for the descents. At some points the bowls seemed to face a different direction than the main clearing, such as toward the northeast.

Austin city limits

From the 15th: I was travelling by train somewhere in the US as part of a class or with group of friends. Early in the morning (it was sunny and clear), we rolled in to Austin along the way toward our eventual destination. We passed by a great number of beautiful, varied old brick buildings with impressive arches and so on, which loomed over the tracks. This architectural treasure trove had been completely unfamiliar to me previously (and it doesn’t actually exist IRL), and I was incredibly impressed. We stopped there for several hours, so I went exploring with one of my friends. We walked north from the station on the west side of the street along under a covered sidewalk, into an office building and into an elevator that we had to scramble up the (textured metal) wall of in order to get through a hatch in the ceiling into the actual elevator. Once there, we went up in the elevator and emerged at a room (about the size of a living room) with windows on all sides where a used-clothing sale was happening; a bunch of people, mostly women and kids, were there, and the clothes were laid out on dark tables and furniture.

At another point, it was deep blue evening in El Raval, in Barcelona; the scene was initially an Arlo & Janis cartoon and I think it was a still comic, but it eventually morphed or proceeded into Helsinki — still in comic form, but showing Mannerheimintie and Lasipalatsi; my brain had apparently equated Las Ramblas with Mannerinheimintie, which is kind of cool. The Lasipalatsi sign was not spelled right, although I thought that maybe it was the Swedish spelling. Then the scene became live-action, where I was going into a subterranean grocery store on the west (RL northeast) side of Mannerheimintie with my friends/parents and getting a variety of things; afterward the setting was a large hotel room or maybe apartment, but I didn’t recall anything besides that.

city run

From the 14th: I was running with some friends through a city on an overcast but clement day. A view of a lot of buildings on the ridge to the west emerged as we ran south; it was a jumble of old and new buildings (e.g. a cathedral, plus lots of chimneys or other protrusions) mostly light in color. We continued up a winding street up a hill. Maybe in a different scene, I ran up a stepped street/linear park (with trees within and beside it and houses along the side, and maybe wooden playground equipment or some kind of hybrid between that and landscaping elements) toward the southwest. I was sweating profusely. I passed by some children who might have been commenting on me.

Another vignette I recalled was being on the start of tour of a large contemporary building with an architecture class; I specifically remembered the guide saying that photographing welcome. The ceiling was a complex grid of beams and/or HVAC; the east and west walls of the hall we were in were exterior, the entrance being on the west side; to the north of the hall was another large area, separated by glass and having a floor level about half a story higher. Some people walked past us on errands within the building.

I seemed to watch or experience a documentary on the work of an architect who made experimental shelters in the woods out of corrugated plastic, clear sheet plastic, etc; they were very precise and geometric and used the conceit of wide separations between walls and roofs that still kept precipitation out. This wouldn’t work IRL, I realized when I mentally reviewed one of the designs after waking up; but formally and tectonically the work was pretty compelling even so.

buffalo trax

From the morning of the 12th: on a sunny mid-afternoon, I was hiking up a cliffy granite/earthy area over a lake that lay to the southeast, with evergreen woods around; I was curving around the lakeshore. Visible in the earth were separate sets tracks, looking like ski tracks but for being in the soil, that had been made by male and female buffalo climbing the hills. I learned, maybe from someone nearby talking about it, that there were specific terms for each kind of track. Subsequently I was hoisting myself up in a prone position over rock ledges directly over the water; I was worrying because the water below looked too shallow to fall in safely, but luckily I made it up to the top, where there was maybe a lodge with an outlook to the south over the lake and to the shore to the southwest. Other people were making the same arduous trek.

cheese harvest

From the 11th: one snippet from a wider scene that I forgot the rest of was that I was up at the top of a hill (almost like the Muny upper parking lot) with a driveway circling up from the northwest (like the Mt. Hope mansion); on the north side of the drive were two large rectangular areas of cheese sitting on the ground, curing in the open air; they were about 4″ thick, with a firm-tofu-like texture but a bit yellower in color. I think it was middayish, with or without sun.

Later, in Hancock, maybe in the same scene, I was talking with some other locals; it was a clear late afternoon, with the sun behind the trees already. We were on a north-south-running wide grass way within a larger field area bordered by woods, with the land sloping down to the north; the grass way was lined by a few farm buildings, and there was maybe a road beyond along the western edge of the clearing. It was thus based on RL Smallholding Farm just up the road from us. One guy went by hiking up the hill (toward the south) and someone mentioned how odd it was that he always knocked on everyone’s door in town when an issue came up (or something to that effect).

overlook arcade

From the 10th: I was explaining to a friend how Williamstown’s street layout was tipped to the southeast (from the east, that is); there was an outlook from a high-up arcade ringing a building that overlooking town on the south side; it was a bright sunny midmorning; to the west of the building and arcade was a plaza with very light (and bright in the sun) gravel or stone paving. The general memory of the scene sort of recalls Park Güell to me now. A separate scene, fairly vague by the time I noted it down, was that I was in my bedroom in NH and looked in one of the large built-in drawers, which contained a few pastries and/or candy bars from a recent (maybe just completed that day) trip; at that point it was late afternoon, with deeper daylight coming in from my east window.