Moving Forward, Part Two

18 June 2017

The big day is here at long last. I’m not going to lie, this is going to hurt. Last time we moved (September 2013) I had someone helping. I was in better shape. I was younger. Fortunately, I have my two daughters and one of their friends, so among us we will slay this beast.

Onward and upward!

Moving Forward 

In a couple weeks, we will be moving from Orange County to San Diego.

So many people have asked me, ‘why San Diego?’

‘Have you been there? Because, how can you not fall in love with it?’

The unspoken truth, one that only those closest to me would understand, is I choose San Diego because I’m not able to immigrate to the UK. A lot more people can’t fathom why I would even want to live in the UK, paticularly my own half-brother who has never lived anywhere but Kent (racist fool that he is.)

It’s my own personal fantasy to live in England. The reasons are multi-layered and complex, and not something I want to spend the time explaining. However, because England remains in the realm of fantasy, I must instead contend with reality. Reality is California and my job here.

I have become massively lucky to secure a transfer to our San Diego office. Hence the move from Orange County.

RSM, or Santa’s Margarita Ranch as my sister calls it, has been fairly good to us these past 8+ years. Even though I have recently become fond of terming it Hellsgate due to the increasingly hot dry weather and persistent drought, the area is visually appealing, quiet and safe. It’s conveniently close to the town center, healthy food choices, and to a good community college. It wasn’t close to my work and the daily 40+ mile commute (I endured for 8 years) wears a car and a soul down at near equal pace.

But let’s face it, life is rarely static. Children grow up, they change schools, get jobs … goals change, jobs change, political climates change. Continued success relies on flexibility. I’ve always felt that to survive here one must be able to ride the waves of change like a pro surfer.

San Diego has a lot to offer us, at least for the next two years, that Orange County cannot. This next phase of our lives will see a solidification of life paths for both of my daughters, while I work to help make those dreams come true. That in and of itself brings true happiness.

I found a place within walking distance of my new office. Until the weekend of the big move though, I’m commuting more than 120 miles a day. Just entered my 6th week of that, and I admit I’m weary. I’m really looking forward to no longer sitting in endless, smog-filled, bumper to bumper traffic. The new people I’m working with are happy, nice people. Good schools abound. The weather won’t be as hot. The city center is lively and diverse (although far more crowded), and there is a large variety of shops. The icing on top is nearby beaches.

Who knows, maybe with less stress I’ll get back into my fitness and lose the 30+ pounds I gained. I will finish my novel. And there is still plenty of time, presumably, to dream of that seaside cottage with a garden, that retired science guy and his Labrador, and me writing to my heart’s content.

May our luck hold.

-updated 6 June 2017

The sum of all fears



In light of recent news reports, it is no surprise that I’ve started dreaming about Russian people. I had the opportunity to sleep in this morning and in doing so hit some significant REM states. What follows is what I remember. Predominant color in this dream sequence was black. I’m calling this dream sequence “The sum of all fears.”

Some details are already slipping away, but I remember a dark skinned man in a black suit. He was a government person, maybe a cop or agent of some sort. I was shadowing him. If you can imagine what it’s like for an angel or ghost to tag along with you, I was like that ghost, tagging along and observing, at least initially. He was hunting someone and when he found this person, he shot him dead. As the body lay on the ground, the agent bent over him and scooped out one of the dead man’s eyes. I recoiled in horror, but I could not leave. Suddenly I had a bag in my hands, like a specimen bag, and the agent put the eye inside it. From inside the eye socket he spooned out three more eyeballs that were larger than the first one, and dropped them one by one into the bag. When I looked, the bag had liquid too. Had it always had liquid inside? The four very round, ping pong sized eye balls were floating in this liquid. I’m guessing they weren’t all eyes, but some kind of data storage. Then we were on the move, walking quickly through the darkness until we came to a building. I have only a vague image of a door in my memory, but we went inside this building. At some point we walked rapidly down a hall, again mostly in darkness, and a moment later reached a T-intersection. On my right was a shallow alcove. Its back wall was mostly computer screens. I stopped, but the man did not. On the screen scrolled numbers. (A bit like that scene in Fallout IV where you have to decipher the codes on the old computer.) Not appearing number by number, but in full sets and filling the screen up like this:

381398417348 134978 19387434 234837487 108343418 10834134719349817324 8979837483747 193473814387

There were symbols mixed in. I would type them but they aren’t on my Querty keyboard. I was mesmerized by the code. I couldn’t take my eyes away from it, nor even blink. It scrolled screen after screen after screen, the code growing in volume, as if it were talking to me. Suddenly my mind was zooming through space – deep black space with the streaks of silver stars elongating on my left and right, much like the imagery of the Starship Enterprise hitting warp drive. After maybe fifteen seconds of that, I arrived suddenly at an asteroid field. I screamed out in fear. Then beyond it, a field of floating space ships in varying shapes and sizes, and all a weird matt black metal. One directly in front of me was an enormous structure made of two disks with bulging centers (not domed) that were joined together like an X. It was rotating slowly in front of me. I screamed again and tried to wake up. The dream shifted to me lying in my bed in sleep paralysis. While I screamed, both of my daughters tried to wake me. In my head I was saying over and over, “I can’t breathe!” and I could feel that my lungs refused to draw a breath. But they couldn’t wake me. Fortunately, I woke myself but found that I was alone.

Maybe the observant reader will wonder at this point what does this have to do with Russia? The man I started out with returned in the second dream, picking up nearly where we left off after having obtained the disgusting eye balls. We walked through the darkness, weaving around buildings, along sidewalks and hedgerows until we arrived at a black iron gate. He opened it and we passed through. The path was canopied by tall thick trees but there were no street lamps to light the way. A very deep voice came from our left, saying, “stop,” and I looked to see a man dressed in dark slacks and heavy black wool overcoat. He had been lying on a bench and sat up. He came over to us with his gun drawn and grabbed me by the arm. He propelled us forward and took us into a room in a building to our left. When he spoke, I recognized his accent as Russian. He delivered us into the hands of some other men. Some were Russian and some were Middle Eastern. They took my companion into a back room. My dream memory has faded somewhat, but I do remember that I had a long woolen scarf around my neck and I used it to hide the bag of eyeballs. I used to my advantage the fact that I was an innocent female, caught in something I had no real part of even though I was hiding something these men probably wanted. I wanted something from the men also, but I can’t remember now what I said. I asked for something, like, to use the bathroom, or for a blanket or something like that, but speaking aloud was the wrong thing to do. The Russian man stared at me like I was an alien. He grabbed my arm again and pushed me over to a service window that had two or three men on the other side of the partitioned glass. There was a silver tray at the bottom, reminding me of the way old banks used to be set up. I repeated the question in this small hesitant voice, and these men stared at me like “what the hell is she?” I didn’t understand what was so wrong with me. They were speaking English. I spoke English. My accent wasn’t strange. I didn’t get why they looked at me like they couldn’t believe their ears.

I’m not sure about the sequence here, as my dream memory is rapidly evaporating, but at some point I was taken to a place that was several stories tall and each floor was joined by a wide staircase with black wrought iron railings on both sides. Both of my daughters were there, and across the room my youngest daughter was lounging, like a cat, on a large square ottoman. I could see she was wearing only scanty clothing and she had a visible tattoo on her lower abdomen. I thought to myself, “When did she get that?!” A weird dream memory flashed in my head of her at a tattoo parlor getting a small tattoo on her shoulder. Suddenly, a couple of Middle Eastern men grabbed her and ran down the stairs with her. Cradling the bag of eyes (I don’t know why they were so important) I ran after them, screaming at them to stop. I was at least two floors behind them when I reached the stairs and I realized I was never going to catch up, so I literally jumped over a railing and down to the next level. I ran down a few steps, then jumped over the railing again and down to the next level. In real life, I would have never been able to do that, and regardless of this amazing skill I couldn’t seem to catch up. Increasingly panicked, I ran in the direction I thought they were going. There was a maze of train tracks ahead with numerous trains going this way and that. I read the signs and saw that I was in England. I was struck by indecision about which train to take. I didn’t want to take the wrong one and risk losing her forever. I thought if I took a picture of one of the signs and sent it to my oldest daughter, she could help me decide. As I focused my phone’s camera on one of the signs I was ripped out of the dream and back into the world of reality.  I was, of course, very relieved to find my daughter was sound asleep in her bed – and safe (with no tattoos)!

And, that was the end of that. You might be wondering if these detail heavy dreams are a common thing with me, and the answer is yes. They aren’t terribly numerous, thankfully, but they do usually come with lots of details.