the passenger seat


walking on a dream

I had the weirdest dream yesterday. It’s probably only the second long dream I’ve remembered recently. A couple of months ago I had a really vivid and long four-part dream involving Transformers, but I might recount that another day.

Anyway, the only dreams I’ve ever remembered are just like SY said in her recent blog (which prompted me to write about this dream): “I find that when you fall back asleep after being awoken by an alarm, you remember your dreams more easily..”

I’m really paranoid about missing things (or school back in the day) because I’ve woken up late, and so I use both my phone and an alarm clock. I started this system because there was a period of time where I got so used to my alarm clock that I was able to subconsciously reach behind me to turn it off while still in a sort of half-sleep, hence missing it and waking up late. So, I began to use two alarms where I would set my alarm clock 10 minutes after my phone alarm just in case. But then I got into the habit of using the time in between alarms to sleep some more (and those extra 10 minutes actually made me feel more awake when I woke up for real), and this is when I would often have dreams that I could remember.

However, yesterday was a different situation. After waking up early to go to Sydney Markets for some pre-Chinese New Year shopping, I came home wasted and found myself dropping off while on the computer. So I decided to have a nap, and that is when my dream unfolded…

The italic parts are what happened in the dream and the non-italics are things that happened in real life.

I walk into a store (not in a mall or shopping centre, but on the street) and it seems to be a weird hybrid shop that sells everything from guitars to boardgames. I spot a nice classical guitar with the price tag over $1,000 and I remember that I need to find one to buy for my brother’s birthday (my mum had a guitar that as a present the other day). The price tag is obviously too high so I go to the store assistant (a guy about our age) to ask him if there are any cheaper ones. But then a 60-70 year old man walks in and he is joined by two of his friends and they start chatting VERY loudly right next to the assistant and I. I go ahead and ask my question anyway, but the guy mishears me and starts telling me the days and hours that he works at the store, as if I am enquiring for a job (I have been trying to find a job recently). Soon the men stop talking but the guy is still going on about the job details, so I stop him and tell him what I really meant to ask. But he gets pissed and starts mouthing off about how he wasted his time explaining all the other stuff to me and that is when the manager comes over and sees what is happening. So I figure this is a good time to leave the store and as I walk out I see the assistant getting told off by the manager.

For some reason I decide to go back into the store soon after, and I go to the back where there is a desk with a computer on it, so I go to sit there (without using the computer). I stay there for a while but then decide to go outside again to check where the rest of my family is. I see them going into another store not far away so I go back inside and start using the computer (for what, I don’t know). After a while I decide to leave again but as I look through the store’s windows from the outside I realise I have left my phone and wallet on the desk.

So I go back inside to pick them up but the store has somehow turned into a library. As I walk past the desks I see people that I recognise (the only people that I remember seeing are Grubsy and Swami) but they don’t seem to notice or recognise me. I go outside and see my family walking into another store and so I follow them in, and it turns out that it is some sort of mall with a high ceiling. My family walks into Sanity (no idea why it would be that store in particular) and I walk ahead, coming across a staircase; the kind that spirals down in a square to get to a car park. As I walk down I pass a bunch of random people before meeting Janet at the bottom. She is wearing a black leather jacket (I think this was from seeing James’ new jacket).

We go out the door at the bottom of the staircase and we emerge into a large open-air car park. But somehow it is now night time and all the cars are lit up from underneath, some with their headlights on. Seeing Janet’s jacket and the weird light, I am reminded of the video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (I think my actual self thought of this and it became manifested in the dream). And so I make a joke, singing a line from that song out loud: “‘Cause this is Thriller, Thriller night”.

But then I look to my right and I see a big, flat-topped hill that has a really big blocky building sitting atop it, not unlike prison buildings. The buildings are all lit up with a sickly yellow light. Suddenly I hear some weird noises coming from the buildings and then the shrieking scream of a woman.

Then I see a woman with long dark hair and a white hospital gown running out of one of the buildings, presumably the same woman that screamed, and she is followed by a horde of other men and women dressed similarly, all running out of the buildings down the hill towards the car park while making lots of noise. It is then that I come to the realisation that the buildings are those of a mental asylum.

At this point we are both freaked out, so Janet and I rush towards the door we came out of but a hand reaches from inside and closes it. With the people still running down the hill we approach the door but it is locked and we are unable to get in.

Then I woke up.

The weird thing is, I’m pretty sure I was only half-asleep during the dream. I had parts where I would kind of wake up but I’d drop off again soon after and the dream would continue. Also, I found that I could actually somewhat control my dream. It was like my actual self knew that it was a dream and at parts I think I actually watched my dream self from a different viewpoint. When my actual self thought about something it seemed to immediately happen in the dream; like in that part about “Thriller”.

Another weird thing that happened is that I remember at times dreaming that I was asleep. This may have just been me waking up in a semi-conscious state, but when I tried to move my mind was telling me that I was moving but I found myself still in the same position after.

Is it normal for dreams to be remembered only when they are had in those light stages of sleep? Does this happen to anyone else? And has anyone else ever had any sort of control over their dreams as I had?

I’d love to hear your dream experiences, so leave them in the comments. But until next time, take care.



the life of the party

So, if you’ve already read Belle’s or Sandy’s or even Janet’s blog, you’ll know that last night we had a belated (exactly a month after her birthday) surprise birthday party for Janet at Temasek Restaurant in Parramatta.

I would’ve blogged about it last night, but I was too busy editing photos to do some writing. Head to my Flickr for the photographs from last night as well as all the other photos I’ve taken with my new camera.

So anyway, the day began with me catching a bus to Parramatta. I arrived jsut before noon and decided to have some lunch and browse JB Hi-Fi a bit. While there I also played Guitar Hero for some time, which I haven’t played in ages, so that was fun. I also went around to the camera stores and had a bit of an ogle at all the gear and lenses. While at one of the stores, an employee noted my camera and we had a little chat about it. It was a little awkward but cool at the same time.

I probably shouldn’t be saying this, nor should I have done it, but a little while later I headed to the cinemas to buy tickets for Janet and me to The Hangover, which we would be watching at 2:20pm later that day. But while there, I met three of my brother’s friends and they were hoping to watch Bruno- except that they were all fourteen. So they then asked me to buy tickets to Bruno for them and I wasn’t so sure about it, but luckily I convinced them to watch The Hangover instead, which was also MA15+ but which I figured would be a cleaner movie than Bruno. So I figured I didn’t really want them to be sitting next to Janet and I in the cinema, so I bought three tickets and decided to buy ours later. In hindsight, the movie wasn’t too bad in terms of adult themes/images, so I guess it was okay.

I met Janet about an hour after I arrived, and we then bought tickets. On the bottom floor of Parramatta Westfield there were two people costumed as Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, and a lady with a Polaroid camera giving out free photos to anyone who lined up. So Janet and I decided to go down there, and we scored a sweet Polaroid of us with the two characters. After some shopping it was almost time for the movie, so we picked up a pie each from the shop next the Woolworths and also an Easyway each, taking advantage of the “Buy One Get One Free” coupon (for both shops) that was in the free Westfield coupon book that they had at the information desk.

The movie was actually quite good. I had heard people saying that it was a good movie before I went to watch it, and it was quite enjoyable. Basically, the story is about four guys who go to Las Vegas for their bachelor party, but end up waking up the next morning with the biggest hangover possible and no memory of anything that happened the night before. Turns out, a lot of crazy ish went down that night, and the movie is about how they try to find out what happened and to find their friend who they lost on the way. I’ve probably cheapened it somewhat through my description, but I do recommend it to anyone who wants to have a laugh at the movies without wasting your money.

So, after that we headed just outside Westfield where we took some shots. Unfortunately there weren’t very many good ones; Parramatta wasn’t as interesting as I first anticipated.

It was about six o’clock when we started to head to Temasek, where, unknown to Janet, there would be eleven friends waiting for us. I used my cool stalling tactics of forgetting the way to the restaurant (actually, I really did forget) and we ended up getting a bit wet walking through the rain to the restaurant. I wasn’t really worried about going the long way (apart from the rain), since Sharon had called me earlier and asked me to stall for more time.

Anyway, we arrived at the restaurant and everyone yelled “Surprise!” and Janet received her gifts. Then I ordered and we ate. It was good food, we ordered (between two joined tables and thirteen people): Satay Chicken x2, Kecap Manis Calamari x2, Beef Rendang x2, Chicken Curry x1, Black Pepper Chicken x1 and one piece of Roti Canai each. Pretty standard Malaysian food (except the Black Pepper Chicken which is Chinese), so I was pretty happy that everyone got to eat the kind of food that is so familiar to me.

Overall it was a really fun day and a great night; I haven’t had a chance to catch up with friends at all these holidays so it was nice to see everyone again. To see the other side of the story, that is, from the perspective of the group that greeted us at the restaurant, read Belle’s or Sandy’s blog.

Also, don’t forget to check out the photos at my Flickr, also named The Passenger Seat. Also, keep a look out for my Tumblr, A Scent Of Evergreen, where I have constantly been uploading photos, too.

I don’t think I’ll blog for a while after this, due to studying and such. So until next time (which could be far away), do take care.

PS. Oh, and nice job to Rohan again. The last title was the song “Symbol In My Driveway” by Jack Johnson, from his album On And On. This blog’s title is taken from the Fall-Out Boy song with a similar title, omitting the “(After)”.

group

Flickr Set: Janet’s Dinner



exit music
Today was a pretty jam-packed and full on day, but a nice break from study (sort of). Woke up at 8:40am to catch a bus at 9:36 to meet Janet in Epping. From there we spent some time in the St. Vincent de Paul’s store browsing all the cool old stuff there. There are actually a lot of cool knick-knacks in there from like the 50s. While in there, I spotted a section that had some really cheap stuff, and it inspired a new project. I won’t disclose what it was, but I may in another blog once I have the idea all set. Anyway, after that we headed to the chicken shop near Intuition, where we had a Thai chicken noodle salad and the hot chips I have heard so much about. It was my first time eating here, and I was surprised by the quality of the food there. I will definitely go again. Another place I tried for the first time today was Pedro’s Pizza, where I’m sure many of you Intuition-ers have been. We shared a Chef’s Special which is pretty much like the 70’s Lot from Dominos which I really like. That was really good too; not like the ordinary pizzas from Pizza Hut or Dominos. It tasted and looked more gourmet-ish and herb-y, which was nice.
After Epping, we headed to Chatswood. Unfortunately there were no trains today, so we had to catch the 30 minute CityRail bus as opposed to the 17 minute train. There, we went to Chatswood Library and spent a few hours studying until about 5 o’clock, when we headed back to Epping to meet Mindy and Gabriel for dinner before musical. We ate at a new Italian restaurant, and shared three dishes between the four of us: pumpkin and spinach ravioli, tortellini in a creamy sauce and mushroom risotto. It was all very nice, and I think I’ll take my family there one day.
After this, my dad came to pick us up (as we were too late for buses) to go back to school for the musical. I’d have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance as I wasn’t really expecting much to begin with. It started off a bit slow, but it had its funny moments (loved the “Women” song) and thanks to a few standout performances, it was actually quite enjoyable for the most part. First and foremost, Frances stole the show. Her singing was spot on, and she was easily the best performer on the stage. Quote Deva: “The whole musical should be Frances on her own”. She was that good. Other standouts were Tim, who was great as the Baron and James, who brought the comedy to the show. Other good performances were Yuzhong, who had some good scenes although his singing could’ve been better, and Nick, who sang well. Overall I thought it was not bad at all, but still not as good as ours. It was also weird since this is the first musical I’ve watched since Godspell in year 7, of which I don’t remember much. Having performed in every other musical possible, it was quite funny at first to be watching everyone on stage doing the same actions and in costume and stuff. I felt like I wanted to be up there too like every other year, but I also realised just how lame the chorus actions always are. The chorus wasn’t too bad this year as a whole, but when you watch certain individuals, it’s so bad and funny at the same time.

Today was a pretty jam-packed and full on day, but a nice break from study (sort of). Woke up at 8:40am to catch a bus at 9:36 to meet Janet in Epping. From there we spent some time in the St. Vincent de Paul’s store browsing all the cool old stuff there. There are actually a lot of cool knick-knacks in there from like the 50s. While in there, I spotted a section that had some really cheap stuff, and it inspired a new project. I won’t disclose what it was, but I may in another blog once I have the idea all set. Anyway, after that we headed to the chicken shop near Intuition, where we had a Thai chicken noodle salad and the hot chips I have heard so much about. It was my first time eating here, and I was surprised by the quality of the food there. I will definitely go again. Another place I tried for the first time today was Pedro’s Pizza, where I’m sure many of you Intuition-ers have been. We shared a Chef’s Special which is pretty much like the 70’s Lot from Dominos which I really like. That was really good too; not like the ordinary pizzas from Pizza Hut or Dominos. It tasted and looked more gourmet-ish and herb-y, which was nice.

After Epping, we headed to Chatswood. Unfortunately there were no trains today, so we had to catch the 30 minute CityRail bus as opposed to the 17 minute train. There, we went to Chatswood Library and spent a few hours studying until about 5 o’clock, when we headed back to Epping to meet Mindy and Gabriel for dinner before musical. We ate at a new Italian restaurant, and shared three dishes between the four of us: pumpkin and spinach ravioli, tortellini in a creamy sauce and mushroom risotto. It was all very nice, and I think I’ll take my family there one day.

After this, my dad came to pick us up (as we were too late for buses) to go back to school for the musical- The Merry Widow. I’d have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance as I wasn’t really expecting much to begin with. It started off a bit slow, but it had its funny moments (loved the “Women” song- women women women women!) and thanks to a few standout performances, it was actually quite enjoyable for the most part. First and foremost, Frances stole the show. Her singing was spot on, and she was easily the best performer on the stage. Quote Deva: “The whole musical should be Frances on her own”. She was that good. Other standouts were Tim, who was great as the Baron and James, who brought the comedy to the show. Other good performances were Yuzhong, who had some good scenes although his singing could’ve been better, and Nick, who sang well. Overall I thought it was not bad at all, but still not as good as ours. It was also weird since this is the first musical I’ve watched since Godspell in year 7, of which I don’t remember much. Having performed in every other musical possible, it was quite funny at first to be watching everyone on stage doing the same actions and in costume and stuff. I felt like I wanted to be up there too like every other year, but I also realised just how lame the chorus actions always are. The chorus wasn’t too bad this year as a whole, but when you watch certain individuals, it’s so bad and funny at the same time. Oh, and speaking of bad performances- the grizette scene. Eesh, that wasn’t very good on the eyes, no offence. I still miss my time in rehearsals and the performances and all that last year. That was awesome, and thank you to all that were a part of it, especially the principals.

Wow, word count is at 1221 right now. I didn’t even realise I typed that much. Maybe I should end here, before I bore you all even more with this essay. (Edit: Wow, John, you’re right. WordPress decided to display double the actual word count. Weird.)

Or maybe not. Since we’re on the topic of music, here’s a game for you all to play. How it works is that I’ll choose a few songs that I like (that at least some of you should know) and post a line or two from the first 30 seconds or from the chorus. You guys have to guess the song and artist for each, and when someone gets it I’ll edit this blog and mark it down with your name. NO GOOGLE ALLOWED. Yes, i did steal this from Facebook. I’ll post the answers in a few blogs’ time. The person who gets the most correct can have a hundred points.

1. i’ve got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots
……….“The Sound Of Settling” – Death Cab For Cutie – Janet
2. it’s our problem free philosphy
……….“Hakuna Matata” – The Lion King – Joseph
3. one last glance from a taxi cab, images scar my mind
……….“Dismantle.Repair” – Anberlin – Janet
4. you’re barely waking, and i’m tangled up in you
……….“Collide” – Howie Day – Sandy
5. … and cannonball into the water, i’m gonna muster every ounce of …
……….“For You I Will” – Teddy Geiger – Eddy
6. come here girl, go ‘head be gone with it
……….“SexyBack” – Justin Timberlake – Janet
7. where did i go wrong? i lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness
……….“How To Save A Life” – The Fray – Swami
8. look at me, i will never pass for a perfect bride
……….“Reflection” – Mulan – Leeanne
9. i’m gonna make a change for once in my life, it’s gonna feel real good …
……….“Man In The Mirror” – Michael Jackson – James
10. and so it is, just like you said it would be; life goes easy on me
……….“The Blower’s Daughter” – Damien Rice – Belle
11. i can see it in your eyes, you mean all of what you say
……….“A Day Late” – Anberlin – Janet
12. she don’t believe in shooting stars, but she believe in shoes and cars
……….“Flashing Lights” – Kanye West – Janet
13. me and all my friends, we’re all misunderstood
……….“Waiting On The World To Change” – John Mayer – Sandy
14. i know she said it’s alright, but you can make it up next time
……….“Flake” – Jack Johnson – Janet
15. once or twice was enough and it was all in vain
……….“Bleeding Love” – Leona Lewis – Sandy
16. where are we? what the hell is going on? the dust has only just …
……….“Hide And Seek” – Imogen Heap – Janet
17. you only stay with me in the morning, you only hold me when i sleep
……….“You Give Me Something” – James Morrison – Janet
18. everybody look right, everywhere you look i’m standing in the spotlight
……….“I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” – The Lion King – Sandy
19. you will never stop it now, you’ll never stop it now
……….“RoboCop” – Kanye West – Janet
20. go ahead as you waste your days with thinking, when you fall …
……….“Move Along” – The All-American Rejects – Belle

An extra twenty points if you can give me the artist and album for this blog’s title. No searches allowed!