Friday, May 22, 2009

Dream 5/9/2009

I meet up with Ster, my brother, and we`re on bikes. He tells me to meet up with him again in a few minutes, and I reply that I will.

I accidentally drop a bar of soap in the middle of the street. The bar of soap blazes down the asphalt a distance of exactly 100 meters. I know it is 100 meters, no more and no less. Naturally, I go chasing the bar down the road. By the time I catch the bar and meet up with Ster. By this point he is disappointed in me for being tardy. I feel disappointed because I can tell he is geniunely upset.

Next I am swimming in water which is moving. It moves like a river, although I never once checked to verify that there are shores. In the water with me are boats. The boats are very different. I only know they are boats becuase they navigate in the water. Otherwise some might look more akin to planes.

The boats have propellers. I am very terrified of said propellers. I duck and dodge them successfully. Some of the boats are made out of PVC pipe. I don`t notice another person in the water or navigating a boat on the moving water. The boats are endless and densely crowded.

From time to time, I duck under the water to escape the props. I look under the water and notice mail trucks. The mail trucks have matching paint jobs. The paint jobs spell out the name of their business and their offerings. There are so many mail trucks riding along the bottom of the water that I know that it is a fleet.

Friday, May 8, 2009

On Expectation

Reflect on the idea of expectation and how it leads to different opinions, degrees of satisfaction and comfort.

I’m currently traveling with a young man from Belgium. He reminds me in many ways of my friend Nick, also from Belgium. Nick is much cooler, and much more relaxed, however. The two dance similarly, both enjoy liquor drinks, dislike slamming beers, and are keen on simple food. The following description of Batiste (his actual name, no one is protected) is nowhere near what one could say about Nick. It applies to a great many people in this world, however, which is why it interests me.

I have found that Batiste has trouble with expectation. I should say that he has trouble with realistic expectation. After two months in Ecuador, I expect that the bus will not offer sufficient leg room. I expect that the person in front of me will elect to recline the seat to its maximim capability. I expect that the windows in the bus will shake, rattle and roll, creating a cacophony of noise which adds to that which already exists on the bus. These noises, according to my expectation, might include vendors, selling ‘helados, coco, discos, secos,’ and the like. There will possibly be chickens squacking on the bus, and I expect that before I board.

Because I expect these things, which don’t really bother me anyway, I am not disaapointed or angered when they do occur or appear. My expectation being that which it is allows me to accept these aforementioned conditions, and enjoy the absence of those that don’t exist. If all are present, I have merely met my expectations, and there is no reason for discomfort of mind.

My friend Batiste has trouble being realistic about expectations. The bus, mind you, is just a convenient example. The issue goes above and beyond commute, believe you me. Batiste enters the situation without the above expectations and thusly is highly affected when they exist. He has been known to huff, sigh, groan and moan at the existence of such common conditions. I find this to be a terribly tiring way to go about one’s day. I find that he spends a great deal of time complaining about things that one could have anticipated from the get-go.

I don’t know why this occurs, nor if one inevitably becomes more realistic as they experience similar conditions and situations over a long period of time. I really hope so, for Batiste’s sake. It seems he might appreciate things much more, such as the terrain outside in our bus example, if he would learn to be a little bit more honest with himself when developing expectations.

I certainly have had nothing but lovely bus rides in my time in Ecuador. This statement, incidentally, acts as both a literal and metaphorical statement.

Dream from 5/2/2009

I generally listen to music while I sleep. That is to say, that music generally plays while I sleep. However, last night, I listened to music while I slept. I also dreamt. Here is that dream.

First, for your information, I was listening to two very specific songs. The first is “Blood Embrace,” from Matt Sweeney and Bonnie Prince Billy’s album Superwolf. The second was “81,” from Bonnie Prince Billy’s album Get on Jolly.

At the end of the first song, there is a dialogue from a film that goes like this. This dialogue, verbatim, was part of the dream. Here are the words:

Female: Charlie, I’ve uh…I’ve been with another man. Aren’t you going to say anything? You’re just gonna sit there. Charlie, I didn’t know when you were coming back, or if you ever would. I tell you, the men around here don’t respect anything. I told you all the guys that called me up…and then Cliff. He didn’t make a pass at me, I mean, he didn’t even do it at all. I knew what he wanted, but…he never did anything about it. And then it seemed like the two of us just had to.

Charlie: I don’t think I’m up for any more of this. Why don’t you go to bed? I’ll work this all out.

Female: What are you gonna do?

Charlie: I’m just gonna sit here.”

So that’s the dialogue. Now, I’m watching this conversation happen between two people in my dream. It is exactly word for word. Neither one of the persons is recognizable, neither then in dream sense, nor now as I think back on their faces.

The man, Charlie, is wearing a maroon knit shirt and has a flat top haircut, although nothing about him is extreme. That is to say, nothing about his appearance. He is, at the end of the dialogue, sitting in a large yellow truck. The truck is no regular truck. Rather, it is some sort of work truck, such as one that carries water. The woman, for her part, is similarly plain. Her hair is a bland blond color, shoulder length, and her bangs are split down the middle. Her clothes, which are a dull grey, gave me the sense that they were from the fifties, although even still, were nothing to stop the presses about. The woman is speaking with her back to Charlie, and she is clearly upset about her transgressions. As the dialogue closes, Charlie is in the driver’s seat of the truck, which positions his head about 7 feet off of the ground.

Charlie, while speaking his third line (I’ll work this all out) pulls a pistol from his lap and points it at the woman. She speaks her line, and as Charlie finishes the dialogue, he shoots her in the back of the head. She never knew it was coming.

As the gun discharges, our angle of the situation changes, and immediately, we’re looking at a close-up of Charlie. We never see any blood that likely resulted from the first shot. Charlie is quite a bit more rotund than earlier, and seems distraught. He is shaking and sweating as his focus shifts from what we can only expect to be the lady to directly in front of him. He is now John Goodman as he raises the gun to his temple. The gun is in his right hand and thus pointed at his right temple.

There is a horse, donkey or mule in the back of the truck, and we get the feeling that Charlie wants it to be dead as well. He fires once into his right temple, shifts the aim to the back of the truck and discharges a third time. The fourth shot is aimed directly into Charlie’s mouth, angled up towards his brain. He discharges a final time.

At this point, the second song kicks in. Specifically, these words are spoken by a narrator, words sung by Bonnie Prince Billy in the song, “81.” “You make seeds into sprouts, and hidden in the heart of things, you make buds into flowers, and hidden in the heart of things, you make flowers into edible things…” Then a line from my brain kicks in, “you had my dad blow my mom’s head off.” Again, these words don’t exist in the song, but they did in my dream. And again, these words took on the sense of narration in the dream. After my words came these, which belong to the song and appeared directly, “…what majestic treats do you still have in store for me? A breath of death, a day of rest.”

After this, Michael J. Fox pulls up to a curb with a mailbox. He is narrating our story. Charlie was his father, and the female his mother. His car is a small sedan, silver or gold, and foreign. He steps out of the car, wearing a Domino’s Pizza jacket. He is talking about how now he is an old man, an old man with grey hair. He is wearing a style of pants that are quite baggy, and upon seeing these, I comment (either aloud or intrapersonally) that “choosing to have him wear these pants was a good idea because I’ve seen people wear pants like that.” I think this is a reference to the Back to the Future films, and how terribly they predicted the future.

As he steps out of the car, Michael J. is approached by a young child, who is clearly his son. His son is wearing a matching, albeit much smaller, Domino’s Pizza Jacket. Michael J. grabs his son by his upper arm caringly and lifts him into the air. This he does lovingly and gently.

Things from the Bus Part IV

Restaurante Kayla
Comedor Kathryn
Bus Caller punches timecard
Banana fields
Restaurante Carlin
High School Harry throws chicken bits and rice in a plastic bucket out the window
Single bus with following decals-Panther, Pit Bull, Tiger, Scorpion, Bull
Violent pore cleaning (this was occurring on the bus between two lovers)
km 29
Rio Chisinche
Abandoned Homes
Billboard about narcotrafico. There is a family portrait on the billboard, presumably a mother and father, mother holding a baby. The father (I assume) is missing, which is to say his body is cut out of the billboard, I assume representing his death or disappearance.

Something to Think About-Indigenous Justice

Rafael Correa added a segment in the Constitution that gives indigenous groups the right to continue using traditional methods of judgment and punishment. Recently, there have been a number of really violent manifestations of this Constitutional allowance. In one case, a man was severely beaten and burned in the street. Eventually he died.

Think about this, a lot.

From the Bus, Part III

Bar-the Pirates Club
Pet store called “Pibe,” pronounced Peebay
´Bible Shoop´
Jardin Escuela John F. Kennedy-La Libertad
Escuela Gandhi-Olón
Live stick in the spokes trick
Water park called “Texas Ranchero”
Outside pool match on International Workers’ Day (May 1st, May Day)
Headlock effectively executed
Men’s huge stomachs, naked
Barquero organic shrimp farm (world’s only organic shrimp farm)
Ring Around the Rosy (they all fell down)

Ecuadorian Political Parties, Presidents and Colors

6, Partido Social Christiano, yellow and blue
12, Boya, red, yellow, and white
82, Movemiento Igualdad, red
76, Movemiento Encuentro Democracia, red and blue
35, Rafael Correa, Patria Altiva y Soberana, green and blue
40, Movemiento Justo y Solidario, Carlos Gonzalez, orange and black
15, Movemiento Popular Democratica, blue and orange, rainbow
7, PRIAN, Noboa, yellow, blue and red
3 , Lucio, Sociedad Patriotista 21 de enero, red, green
1, red and green
17, Partido Socialista, black and red
151, Socialista, red, white and yellow
18, Pachuktik, white and rainbow
24, red, yellow, blue, maroon
70, black, red, and yellow
66, red, black, green
61, red, blue
63, red, black
74, orange, blue
5, green
71, baby blue, black

From the Bus, Part II

Really crosseyed guy
Wheelchair (unrelated)
Paulo Freire Centro Educativo
Shirt Made by COMPANY (since 1970, company didn’t exist in 1970)
Little girl climbing political sign
Water slides
Soccer stadium
Box of chickens (inside the bus)
“Del y” Panederia y dulceria
Perfect toobing river, outside San Antonio, outside Gualeceo
Ecuaquera Orchid Tours
Lady atop a pile of sugar cane eating an ice cream
Swastika and ANR Revolution in spray paint on a wall

Movie Idea

So in Ecuador, buses work this way. There is a team of two who operates the bus. There is the driver, naturally. There is also who I name the Caller, who announces to all those on the street the route that the bus will be taking, hoping that more people join the ride. For, you see, you need not enter the bus at the terminal terrestre, or bus station, to travel by bus in this lovely land. Nay, simply waving one’s arm is generally sufficient to become a passenger. After boarding the bus, The Caller will travel down the aisle, collecting tickets from those who have come from the terminal and decided to purchase a ticket to the final destination. The vast majority of riders haven’t done this, however, and furthermore aren’t headed to the final destination, at least not to the terminal there. Rather, they have boarded somewhere along the way, and are likely to have a specific stop along the way. They pay cash depending on where they boarded and where they’re headed. The Caller is responsible for charging passengers, and accounting for each riders’ fare.

Generally there is some sort of dynamic between The Driver and The Caller. Sometimes, it’s fairly relaxed, without much interaction. On other occasions, it’s very friendly, with The Driver and The Caller switching roles for a matter of kilometers.

I find this relationship to be fascinating, as I generally do with groups of adults interacting. Specifically, adult men who have really close relationships is interesting. That juxtaposed with the idea of machismo and trying to act tough.

I would like to make a film with the above ideas and situations as the basis. There wouldn’t necessarily need to be a narrative, rather interactions between the two men as they travel across Ecuador and other spots in South America. In the meantime, we would see the various foods and beverages vendored by people young and old. These comestibles would naturally mirror the region in which the bus has paused for long enough for the vendors to board.

Passengers’ items would similarly tell the story of the area. If the film expanded its focus to all of Central and South America, imagine the variance in passengers, cargo, language, weather, and so on. Surf boards, chickens, herbs, briefcases, paintings, statuettes, fruits, etc. Additionally, think on the land and the sites that one would pass. The land and cities I’ve seen just here in Ecuador have been so amazing, so telling of the people who inhabit them. The bus would naturally become a character in the film. Attitude, style, condition, all these would help tell the story of the bus…its language.

Narrative unnecessary, though fairly easy given the elements of the situation. The bus and its tribulations, the relationship between two men, the terrestrial additions. Good stuff.

Possible Menu for Future Ecuadorian Restaurant, Vegetarian, in Austin

Fanesca (only on special days)
Empanada de Verde
Ceviche de Chochos
Empanada de Queso
Jugos (maracuya, pitajaya, melon, sandia, frutilla, tomate de arbol, guanábana, mango, etc…)
Papitas (veggie salchicha)
Menestra de lentajes
Arepas estilo Patate
Choclo a la parilla
Maduros a la parilla

Dream 4/30/2009

I am in a house with Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad are my mom and dad. I know that I’m at home, though it’s not a home I’ve ever resided in before. It is much bigger. I am emotionless about the size of the house. I just know it’s quite large. I have to read a bunch of articles. I don’t know the content in the articles. The articles are arranged in two large binders. The pages of the articles have sticky notes on them. I am sitting near a window.

Outside the window walks an old lady, hereafter Shuffling Aunt. Her hair is black, but I know that she is 87. She is frail and her back is curved. She shuffles through the garden, and I know that more than anything, she is an aunt, either normal or great. That matter influences me not. Trivial. As Shuffling Aunt passes by, I make a screw face. I know that she isn’t my aunt or great aunt. I do not, however, know why I chose to be an asshole.

Next door is Joey Laney’s house. Joey Laney exists, though possibly not living, and was our next-door neighbor for a number of years when we lived in the house on Sir Philip. I am not concerned with knowing the status of Joey Laney. In Joey Laney’s yard hangs a swing. I assume the swing was attached to a tree branch, though I can’t confirm the validity of such a claim.

Pushing the wooden swing, which is painted an ugly terra cotta color, is a fat kid, hereafter The Fat Kid. I know that he is a fat kid, not a fat boy nor a fat youth nor a fatso. The Fat Kid pushes the swing, which has no rider. He does this listlessly. He seems bored or melancholy. A fatso appears, hereafter The Fatso. The Fatso is a woman. I know that the fatso woman is The Fat Kid’s mommy. The pair of fatties sits on the steps of the house. The steps are few and lead to the front door of the house.

The Fatso puts The Fat Kid on her knee. She wears a moo-moo decorated with flowers. Its main color is navy blue and the flowers are mainly white. Her hair is yellowish orange. It has been dyed and her roots are black. Her hair is large and looks uncomfortable to touch or to own. Her face is coated with pale make up. It looks thick and uncomfortable to touch or own.

The Fatso asks The Fat Kid questions. The questions are of a hypothetical nature. She asks him what he should do if someone puts their hand down his pants. For each question, The Fat Kid answers with in a mechanical manner. I know that he has memorized the answers. I know that the pair of fatties has participated in this exercise before. The exercise makes me uncomfortable, and now I am watching this as a movie.

After asking a series of questions, probably 4, The Fatso begins to cry. Her tears I know represent her fear that her son, The Fat Kid, will encounter dangerous things in his life. She has begun to feel her control slipping away. The world is too large and scary for her dear Fat Kid. She knows that she can no longer protect him. This is what the tears say to me.

The Fatso then says something about Satan and evil. The camera that captures the moment pans to The Fat Kid’s brother, hereafter Sickly Brother. I know that he is The Fat Kid’s brother. He is a very frail boy. He looks sickly. He is atrophied. He has a wound on his lip. I know, given the above sequence, that Sickly Brother is the very embodiment of evil. The Fatso resents Sickly Brother and wants The Fat Kid to realize the possibilities that exist with regards to becoming evil.

The camera then pans along the fence of the yard. The fence, which is no more than a meter high, is made of wood. The wood is painted a dull grey color, and the paint has begun to chip off. Snow has nearly overtaken the fence. There is a human hand sticking a few inches out of the snow. It is purple. It is purple because it is frozen. To the hand belongs an entire human body. The human body belongs to Shuffling Aunt. She is dead. Frozen stiff in the snow by the fence.

Incidentally, the final thing Shuffling Aunt saw before she kicked the bucket was my screw face. I feel for her now.

Some stuff from Ecuador

There’s a brand of foodstuffs that made me chuckle. The foods are higher end things, rarer things here sold in the supermarket. Things such as olives, jam, pickles, and the like are produced by an Ecuadorian brand called ‘Snob.’

Today I saw a young child being assisted by two adults, a man and a woman, whom I assume were his parents or legal guardians. The child didn’t need help with homework, bullies, or making a sandwich. Rather, he had a political sticker wrapped around his head, and it was tearing his hair out as he tried to remove it. It was a sticker for the political party number 40, whose Presidential candidate is named Carlos Gonzales, whose party moniker is Movemiento Justo y Solidario, and whose party colors are black and orange. Mr. Gonzales lost the Presidential election to current President Rafael Correa. I noticed scissors in the hand of the man, most likely the father, and thusly assume the child’s hair was a disaster after the unfortunate event.

I bought a soccer ball with Adidas logos on it. It was a full size ball, and was neon orange and blue in color. I cared for it dearly. One evening as I juggled the ball on the third floor terraza of the Perla Cuencana hostal in Cuenca, I accidently kicked the ball over the short wall of the terraza. The ball fell in the middle of the street, bounced once, and landed safely on the second story balcony of a neighboring business. The business was closed, and the next morning the ball was gone. The employees of the business subsequently played dumb. I understood what that meant.

I wonder if there’s a name for stuff like this

I thought of this on the bus, and wanted to send it as a salutation to my parents in an email. I wonder, given the profundity of nomenclature that exists in the field of linguistics and grammar, if there is a name for things like this. I would like to be able to think of more of these things. The statement to follow.

A sun kissed son kiss.