Rendezfloof

Rendezfloof (floofinition) – An agreed upon meeting place at a specified time between or with animals.

In use: “The meal rendezfloofs were not at the food bowls. No, they preferred to meet her when she selected a can or bag, and then shepherd her to the actual eating site, telling each other that they were providing security that she needed because she was carrying rare and precious stuff: their food.”

854 Cars Dream

One of the weirder dreams experienced last week stayed with me. This was from last Wednesday.

I’d entered a large building on some business. I was in a hurry and a little annoyed when someone hailed me. The young man in a suit confirmed my identity, increasing my annoyance, and then said, “I wanted to ensure that you knew your cars were here.”

People hurried around us. “What cars?” I asked. Given with great impatience, I waited for the answer so that I could explain that I’d flown in. It also seemed odd that he said ‘cars’ instead of ‘car’. On the other hand, maybe someone had provided me a rental.

“Your cars,” the young man replied, as if that explained anything.

I told him that explained nothing.

He looked at me like trees were growing out the sides of my head. “Your cars,” he responded and then spit out with haste, “Your cars were shipped here.” He spoke like he didn’t believe that I didn’t know this. “You have eight hundred and fifty-four cars.”

I repeated that number back to him. It was a ridiculous number. When he confirmed it, my mind looked for explanations and figured, oh, he means model cars or Matchbox cars or toy cars, something like that. Smiling, I asked, “Where are they?” I’d see them and then I would pursue understanding of how I’d come to have eight hundred and fifty-four cars. Someone was behind this, doing it as a joke. “Can you take me to them?”

Joy lit the young man’s expression. “Yes, sir, right this way, sir.”

We were in one of those convention centers attached to hotels, or the other way around, and had to cross a wide space. We entered a garage filled with cars and stopped. I waited.

“There are your cars,” the young guy said.

“Where?”

“There.”

I knew the guy meant all those cars in that garage. My vision roamed. Chevies. Ferraris. Fords. Mazdas. Mercedes. Jaguars. Porsches. A Jeep.

The guy asked, “Is everything alright, sir?”

I explained that I was surprised. I didn’t think these cars were mine. I thought there was a mistake. The other kept insisting, these are your cars, you are the right person and explained that they’d gone through great lengths to verify who I was. “Who did that? Who is they?” I naturally asked. No coherent answer was given.

The young man and I walked among the rows of cars. I verified, eight hundred and fifty-four. He confirmed that and then went on, cataloging the cars’ abilities, amusing me. He said, “You have fast cars and very fast cars, new cars, and old cars.” He was pointing at cars as he spoke and I was turning, gawking at the collection, stunned beyond further thought. Many famous and rare models were present. I eyed pretty green Mustangs that I was sure were in movies, silver Ferraris, and red Ferraris, blue Porsches, and a yellow Jeep. A low and wide Lamborghini and a stately, dark Rolls Royce. Old cars, new cars. All were in great shape.

The dream ended with me standing in the garage wondering, where did I get all of these cars and what was I going to do with them?

Reading this after capturing it all doesn’t give insight into how rapidly this unfolded. The dream was a torrent. I guess that’s the mind, rationalizing explanations of the scenes and images, trying to develop something cogent, and failing. Cheers

The Haircut

I received a haircut today, the first in two months. It was a few weeks overdue. My hair is losing its presence on top and my forehead keeps pushing my hair line back. Hair grows thick and heavy on my sides and back, and still falls in waves of curls. The whole thing can become an unmanageable beast, fighting me about what I want it to do. It won a few times this week. I finally acquiesced to a growing need to deal with it.

Part of my reluctance is the pandemic protocols. We’re in a small town. Not many barber shops, salons, and stylists are among the businesses. Our town is oriented toward college students and tourists, translating business needs into drinking and eating establishments – pizza, restaurants, and beer, wine, coffee, and pastries. Scattered among them are gas stations, grocery stores, clothing boutiques, and bookstores.

Places catering to hair are less frequent. Almost all closed on Sunday and Monday. Most close early on Saturdays. The windows to get a haircut get perilously small. Pandemic closures meant less people working in these places. Appointments are the norm, and they’re precious. I was turned away because nothing was available at three locations in the course of five attempts spent over three days.

An appointment for a haircut. That blows away my youthful memories of walking into quiet establishments, taking a number, and waiting ten to fifteen minutes. In my military days, aka my youth, I had more hair to cut and more frequent needs to cut it to meet regulations. But the prices were better. In the beginning, we’re talking $1.10 for a haircut. Slowly it went to two dollars…five…ten…

Today, I spent $30 with a tip to trim my silvery locks and tame my curls. But I put the $30 haircut into context with coffee. I used to spend fifty cents to a dollar for a cup of coffee. I spent $4 on a cuppa today. Filling my car with gas cost six dollars for a time back then, compared to the fifty I just put out. Yeah, bread was two dollars a loaf, and it now runs $7. It was white bread back then, and now it’s multigrain, and I buy it cheaper at Costco, which wasn’t around back in those days. Cat food was a quarter a tin. Now it hits a dollar each. Hell, I remember spending $7,000 to buy a new Firebird, an expense that took a deep breath to decide after hours of calculations and days of mental wrestling. Good luck finding a new car, loaded, for seven grand these days.

I’ll just put in a mention about real estate. We bought our first place for half a million dollars. Family, still used to lower prices, were stunned. It wasn’t a large place, a sixteen hundred square foot condo, three bedrooms, three baths, two car garage, three stories. My family was more astonished when we sold that place after a few years for three hundred grand more than we paid. I was astonished, too. That was almost twenty years ago.

Context. It all costs more now — houses, cars, air fare, food, clothing, and yeah, haircuts. I look good, though. Young Megan, probably in her twenties, did a good job.

I think.

The Room Dream

I arrived home as a young man. Mom gave me a room. I was happy to see her and happy to be there. We were living on a train, and the room she gave me was an entire train car. Long and narrow, I had a bed, desk, dresser, bookcase, chair, and wardrobe. I set them up to provide separate sleeping and living areas, using the bookcase and vanity as a makeshift wall. As I set it up, my young sisters came in and visited. Sometimes they brought young neighbor boys that they were watching. Mom would also occasionally come by.

I stacked my books and organized my desk, made my narrow bed, and slid against one wall. One side of the train had windows, and I set my desk up under them so I could look outside.

Young people in a sixties era Chevy Impala convertible (after the fins were dropped) began driving by. Whenever they did, some of my things would get shifted, annoying me. This worsened; even as I cleaned and organized again, they drove by, knocking things over. They never reached in or anything, but I knew it was them, as they were laughing about it.

I decided I’d put a stop to that and devised a way by changing the room around. The new arrangement was less satisfying, but it was staying neat and still workable. However, one of the little neighbor boys my sisters were watching kept sneaking into my room and tearing things up. He was fair and blonde, giggling often, but crying whenever he was stopped or reprimanded. I kept putting him out, warning him not to do that, and warning others to keep him out, and then cleaning up again, and again, but he kept getting in there. Mom came to me and told me to be more patient and tolerant because he was a small child and had mental and emotional health issues. I complained to her but took her point and promised I would try.

The train with my room went on the move. That pleased me because I thought we’d moved away from the boy causing the problem. But he got in there again. I was bewildered. My sisters explained that he’d come with us. I felt that I had no choice but to close and lock my doors. After I did that, I discovered him sliding in under the door. It looked like he could completely flattened himself, becoming as pliable and flexible as a sheet of paper.

My exasperation and irritation spiked. How was I supposed to deal with that. I took hold of the boy to take him out of the room. He immediately screamed, writhing and crying in my grasp. Others came running in. I said that I hadn’t done anything to him, that he was overly sensitive, defending myself with the claim, I was just stopping him from ruining things again. My sisters took him out of my room.

Dream end.

The Silver Cars Dream

Again, my dream made me a young man. I was with others, driving in cars on wide, busy boulevards. Sunshine blessed us so we had the roof down on my car, which was turquoise. An entertaining time was being had. It was all about a car show. All these old model cars were there to be judged. We guessed there were hundreds, maybe thousands. Old Porsche variations and European sports cars and GTs dominated, but there were also 1960s and early 1970s American muscle — Mustangs, Camaro Z28s and SS, Firebirds (including Trans-Ams), Cougars, GTOs, Cudas, and Chargers. All the cars were silver except for a few black, white, and turquoise ones, with one other exception. Silver abounded, making us laugh.

We had a list of the cars and were driving around to see them but the cars being judged were also being driven around, creating an entertaining game. Friends had their cars entered, and so did Dad, and old silver Thunderbird. Although I was sometimes driving, I was a passenger at one point, looking at the list of cars. I call it a list, but it was like a small newspaper. The car’s make, model, and year would always be in bold. I was running my thumb along the lists, exclaiming as I noted friends and celebrities’ cars, when I looked up.

Traffic was going in three lines in each direction, very busy. Ahead of us was by several car lengths was the car, I believed, the rarest and most exotic. I said, “That’s it! Catch that car.” The driver (don’t know who it was, never saw them) accelerated. Dad, who was in another car, which was gold, the single gold car in sight, said, “You’re never gonna catch them.” I replied, “Watch us.” Our car shot forward.

But the car we were chasing — was it a Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini? — accelerated more. Pulling away, like they were trying to evade us, they began cutting in and out of traffic. “They’re going to crash,” I said. Dad, from the other car said, “That car is never going to crash. It can’t crash.”

Just then, the car we chased spun and flipped. Wildly, it righted in air and landed neatly. Now facing the wrong way, straddling two lanes, and now black, it sat there as cars went around it. Then it executed a backflip with a twist, landing on its wheels, now silver again, back in the right direction, in one lane, and accelerated away.

So cool, we shouted with laughter in my car. So cool.

Three Dream Vignettes

I experienced three highly detailed, vivid dreams last night, all in a row, flowing from one to the other. First up.

I’m in a car driving in a city in the late afternoon to early evening. I’ve come up to a large and busy intersection. The light is red. I have friends in other cars. We’re all going somewhere. My wife is with me in the car.

I think the light is green and go forward. In a flash, like it’s a film being shown, I see cutaways to friends in other cars saying, “Why is Michael going? The light is red. He shouldn’t be going.” They blow their horns.

I’m driving through the intersection. My wife shouts, “What are you doing? The light is red.”

I’m looking up through the windshield. The light is red, but I thought it was a green light. I’m certain that I saw one.

The traffic turning left against us is light. The drivers of those cars are aware that I’m not doing something right. They give me space and distance. No one is hurt except me and my pride. What is wrong with me?

I pull over to the curb. I’m alone in the car. I’m trying to understand why I thought there was a green light. I look up in time to see a young driver execute in the other direction. He’s driving a mid-sixties Pontiac GTO. Classic muscle car. It’s in impressive condition, with a well-maintained, shiny body. As I watch, this young white guy, maybe seventeen years old, does a U turn and hits the side of my car.

I can’t believe this. He’s pulled over. I get out of my car and look at the damage. My car is silver. The damage is light, toward the rear quarter panel. I approach him, and tell him, “You know the drill. License, registration, insurance.” He’s crying because he just got his license. He knows he’ll face trouble. I feel sympathy for him.

My wife comes up. I ask for the camera. She starts making demands about how this will be handled, wanting me to make promises. We get into an argument. She won’t give me the camera. Irritated, I find my computer to take pictures. I know I can, but, the computer is missing its two AA batteries needed for the camera aspect. But, I have batteries in another part of the computer, use those and take the photos needed.

Number two.

I’m talking to a friend and mentioned something about the Chevy El Camino. I ask him if he knows what they are and how they look. He’s not familiar with it, so I tell him I’ll draw a picture of one. For whatever reason, I’m referring to the fourth-generation design from the early to mid 1970s. I’m explaining the design details as I draw it, talking about the front grill, and how it went from a single headlight to a double-stacked headlight on either side. I realize that I’m drawing on top of another drawing someone has done. I’m astonished. How did I not see that?

I don’t want to draw on another’s drawing. It’s a landscape, sort of a primitive style executed in charcoal. I admire it, erase my drawing, and find another piece of paper. I think it’s blank but as I begin drawing again, I see that there is a drawing on it.

I’m amazed. Why can’t I see those drawings before I begin drawing?

Number three.

We’ve arrived at a huge factory. Besides the factory, it has a large administrative/office section. I’m with a party of friends, all male. I think there are twenty of us. None of them are people known from RL but I know all of them in the dream.

A young brunette woman with a ponytail is showing us around the building. When we walk into one part, we men all start laughing. A tall space, it’s divided into sections and cubicles and is stacked from floor to ceiling with mechanical equipment and electronic gear. I exclaim, “This is exactly the kind of place that I used to work in.” The other men are saying the same thing. We’re all laughing and agreeing, it’s just like where we used to work. We just walk around, talking about the environment. I follow the path, remembering where my cubicle would have been located. In RL, I never worked in a place like this, but in the dream, I turn a corner, and there is my old workstation. Pointing it out to the rest, I laugh. When they see my station, they go off and start finding their own old workstations. How is this possible, we wonder, because we all worked in different places?

Friday’s Theme Music

Happy day of Christmas Eve. It’s a sunny-cloudy-foggy-snowy-misty Friday this December 23, 2021. Lovely to gaze up at the snowed-in mountains and the white-topped evergreens. Snow levels are still a few thousand feet above us. Weather services said that’s gonna change, with snow levels dropping sufficiently for us to get one to three inches in the next twenty-four hours.

Temperature is 34 F. Sunrise kicked in at 7:38 AM and the sun will vacate our immediate airspace at 4:43 PM. A high of 42 is hoped for and a low of 30 is in the charts.

I was out driving in the weather yesterday. Went to dinner at some friends’ home — they provided salad and chili, perfect for the weather, and we provided an apple tart and cornbread, though I confess, I didn’t prepare anything (my wife made the cornbread), and the tart came from TJ’s. Cold and rainy outside, with dusk imminent, I began enjoying the 1979 Gary Numan song, “Cars”, in my mental music stream. It remained in the morning stream so I put it up as the day’s theme music. The song has that 80s robotic-techno vibe (yes, I know it came out in 1979, but music eras aren’t clearly defined by calendars).

I wish happy holidays for you, no matter what you observe (okay, I do draw the line at human and animal sacrifices, and don’t tell me about what anyone used to do), with good health, happiness, and joy. It’s hard to reach the trifecta but please keep trying. Stay positive, test negative, wear a durn mask as needed, and get the jabs when you can. Here’s the music. I’m gonna go rustle up some coffee. Get along, little kitties, get along, get along.

Cheers

A Racing Dream

A group of us — all men of various ages, builds, condition, etc. — were gathered. A tense but excited current ran through us. We were being given an opportunity to race a Formula 1 car. These were not the current cars but vintage vehicles from the eighties. All of us could attempt to qualify but only twenty-three could race. My father was encouraging me to participate. I asked if he was, too, and he said, “No. Too old,” with a laugh.

I was in my early twenties and eager for the opportunity. An overcast sky murmured, it might rain, and a cool breeze kept us shivering. The track could barely be described as one. A run-down, overgrown place, we would-be racers walked about, attempting to clean off the track a bit, kicking off gravel, twigs, and leaves, removing old, rain-sodden black branches. Several drivers seemed much larger than me. Most were older. We chatted in knots as we impatiently awaited our chance. I was more knowledgeable about F1 than others there so I asked more questions and pondered things. One older, larger care took note and started asking me for advice to help him. Each time he asked a question, I asked, making a suggestion. When he thought the suggestion didn’t help, he wanted to take it out on me. I told him, “Look, I made the suggestions but you made the decisions. Own your decisions.” That seemed to take him back.

Meanwhile, I was becoming annoyed with the organizers. I understood that we were to be given cars randomly. Okay. Then we would practice, qualify, and if we were fast enough, we’d race. Okay. But the organizers were also issuing us old racing coveralls to wear, and helmets. Shouldn’t we have a chance to pick those out ahead of time and get used to them some? Why not? In my mind, the uniforms could be important because they could be too tight and hamper our movement, you know, like shifting gears and turning the steering wheel.

I was mentioning these things to other participants. None of them could answer it, of course, so I went in search of the organizers. The dream ended.

Time to Paint

The blinds needed to be removed.

This was a requirement to paint around the frames. Somehow in the madness of life, I’ve decided that I need to paint the living and dining rooms. Together, they are, ‘The Great Room’.

Point of order: my wife hectored me into doing it. “These rooms are too dark. We need a lighter color.”

Me: “Huh-huh, you’re right.”

“When can you do it?”

“Wait, what?”

Life sometimes needs a rewind function.

Into the garage! To the tools! My tools are not greatly organized. Shelves hold several power tools and their requirements, along with a large toolbox. It’s augmented by a small thing with a work surface and four drawers. One drawer has lost its front. (I’m going to fix it sometime.) The top drawers are well organized with screws, anchors, glues, nails, sandpiper. The bottom two drawers are stuffed full of whatever I can get in there. I avoid opening them, except to retrieve tape and edger/trimmer string. My tape variety is impressive.

The screws holding the mounting brackets have a Philips-head X on it. They would not budge despite my grunting. “Get a screwdriver with more torque,” I muttered to myself. I already had the biggest. I would use the drill on it, but there’s not enough clearance. Bummer.

Sighing in frustration, I hit the ratchet wrenches. For some reason, I’ve acquired three complete sets. No, there’s more. At least two sets are metric. I bought them because I lived in Germany and Japan. Metric was used there, and I owned foreign cars – BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Toyopet. Plus, at least one set was priced at a dollar at a garage sale. Who can resist tools at a garage sale? They’re like books. You gotta look and see what might fill that imaginary hole in your library or toolbox.

The sockets are semi-disorganized. Most are in their proper places but the smallest sockets always go strolling. I go through them, looking for the 1/4 inch, along with the proper adapter to go from big to small. With all those socket kits, I have a multitude of options for changing spark plugs. Every manufacturer had a different size of socket required. Some had several. I also have a number of tools for setting the gaps on plugs and rotors, and wires for cleaning them.

Which reminded me of computers. Back in the office closet lives a set of shelves. On it resides office requirements like Wite-out, file folders, label maker, pens for the next century (if they don’t dry up), paper for the printer, ink for the same, assorted docks for laptops I no longer use, another printer I no longer use, cables for laptops and printers… You get it, right?

Disk drives also live on these shelves. Floppy 5.25 inch. Hard floppy 3.5 inch. Zip drives. CDs. All are ready to be formatted and written. I have not formatted anything in over a decade, maybe longer. I used to format things several times a week, back in, um, the last century. Strange that something that once was so common is now rare.

Not really. We were riding horses and trolleys more back in the last century, too. I only rode horses a few times for entertainment. Never mounted one to go to the store, or to visit the neighbors.

I don’t change my car’s oil any longer, either, although I have the wrenches for that, too, and the big wrench to remove an oil pan nut. I have baskets of computer and electronic gear. Ribbon wires, chipsets, an old power supply, old fan, along with a huge variety of RCA cords and adapters. There’s an extra monitor, too, and a VHS head cleaner for the VHS deck that I no longer use. I also own bearing grease, quart jugs of motor oil, and car cleaning supplies, like polishes and waxes.

Sometime, someone needs to go in there and clean all this stuff out. Not me, not today.

Time for me to paint.

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