Thursday, July 29, 2010

dream filled with Harry Potter references and an unusually somber plot

I had a really unusual dream.

Normally my dreams are very exciting in a good sense. Often filled with happiness. But sometimes I get somber dreams.

I had a dream that I was the cause of a war (much like Helen of Troy, but alas, not because of staggering beauty), and that I had to go to war against a mafia family.

It's hard to explain, but the same war kept happening over and over again in the one dream. The result was the same: everyone on my side of the family died, myself included, even though it wasn't explicitly shown in my dream. But that same sequence of events and results repeated over and over, at least three times.

Then, there seemed to be a disturbance that interrupted the endless cycle.

The fourth time the war began, there was a much more in-depth coverage on it in my dream. Before I actually went to war, I could see that I was very solemn and did not want to leave my aunt's side, because she is naturally the person who is most important to me. Everyone in my "army," I suppose, gathered and found their loved ones, and we all bade them farewell. Somehow, I lingered behind and cried because I didn't want to go to war, because I knew I would die, because that was the result of the three previous cycles. I deliberated hiding myself so I wouldn't have to go to war. However, a strange thought struck the me in the dream: if I did not go to fight the war (which I was inexplicably the cause of), which was at its last battle, then what would my comrades think of me?

Somehow, the notion of being hated and belittled by others/my comrades/family was even more distressing than dying itself, so I formed my resolve and went to the battlefield, which isn't really a battlefield. Let me try to explain the setting...

The battlefield is pretty much like a grass-less stadium, with two scoreboards. One on each end of the stadium. The ground is flat and made of concrete. Gray. My army/comrades are gathered at the west end of the stadium. I recognize everyone as members of my family or close friends in real life. On the east side of the stadium is the mafia. ...This is the kind of funny part. A lot of the mafia consists of Slytherin people. HERE COMES THE HARRY POTTER REFERENCES.

Okay. So.... everyone is dressed in the traditional black robes of Hogwarts students. Except my team also has this crest of Gryffindor colors (red and gold), while the mafia consisting of Slytherins have crests of green and black, DUH.

All of the sudden the battle begins and people from my side charge at the oncoming mafia members. I stay behind, fear still gnawing at my heart. Listed on the two scoreboards on the east and west side are names of each army's people. As people die, a strike visibly goes through their name on the scoreboard. It was déjà vu as I watched in horror as more and more of my comrades got their names crossed off. Finally, when it was down to six (I think) people on my team, something in me changed and I just well... tore straight across the battlefield. Each person was dealing with one adversary, and mine just happened to be Draco Malfoy (wtf?).

Somehow there came a point where both teams decided to call a temporary truce/break/half-time and the fighting was disengaged as each team regrouped. At that point, the me in my dream found it rather strange, because I felt a tiny, growing optimism--a little shred of hope--that we might actually be able to survive the slaughter. That was because, at this point in the previous three cycles, I was already dead! But this fourth cycle was different.

Unfortunately, I got woken up shortly afterward, so I have no idea whether I managed to stay alive or not.

And you guys probably found it funny that Harry Potter characters and elements were part of my dream, but I honestly felt really scared and sad in the dream... (that I was going to die and never live to see the people I loved).

But anyway.

As you all must know, I love to analyze my dreams to find relevance to reality.

How did this dream come about? I am not too sure, but it probably has something to do with my constant worry for my aunt and loved ones in general. I can't help but feel afraid, very often, of what will become of me if the people I love leave me. Forever.

I swear I have not read a single Harry Potter book since... the year the Deathly Hallows came out. And I stopped watching the movie series after the fourth movie. But I suppose that the Harry Potter chronicles mean a lot to me--a lot more than most other book series.When I was looking at my bookshelf yesterday, trying to find room to usher five new magazines into the magazine section (which shares the same shelf as my most sacred books--home to the Harry Potter series), I was surprised to discover that all but one book from the series was there--I was missing the Deathly Hallows. Like, what the fuck? It came as a shock to me because I remember very clearly that when I ordered it (which was a long time ago), I accidentally ordered two copies and kept both. I pondered it for a while and forgot about the whole missing-book incident, or so I thought, but no...

The Harry Potter series found its way into my dream.

And as to how I was the cause of the war in my dream? Well... the night before, at dinner, my parents got into an argument and I felt bad because it was about me. My dad, being ignorant, chastised my mother for not cooking shrimp "for me," when he didn't even realize that I wasn't even fond of eating shrimp (while my mother knew). So then they started arguing because my mother felt like my father was wrongly accusing her, which he was, although he vehemently denied it. And so that's probably why my brain decided to process such sentiments into my dream.

[photographic diary] an in-depth foray into Luray Caverns

July 28, 2010. The first time I went to Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia. Much to my chagrin, I did not realize that we (my family and I) were going today when I woke up at noon (to be expected if one sleeps at 3 a.m.), despite my mother claiming that she informed me yesterday of today's travel plans. 

The whole Luray Caverns experience was very fascinating. I mean, I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I'm a rock nerd. I keep a collection of fascinating minerals and rocks in a GODIVA CHOCOLATE BOX. I'm extremely proud of my rock collection--they have all been from my excavations--since third or fourth grade, elementary school, when I would dig rocks up during recess time at this one little corner of the playground. I remember that I had fellow colleagues help me with the tasks to unearth this one humongous, semi-translucent crystal-esque rock, too. But okay, enough of my childhood rock excavating stories. Back to the Luray Caverns.

I've chosen a handful of photographs out of the 216 that I took on this trip to show you all:
Taken descending the stairs into the caverns.

These remind me of rows of teeth...

Dream Lake, my favorite part of the caverns. The bottom portion of the photograph is actually a reflection of the top. The water is truly the essence of "crystal clear." It's absolutely mind-blowing and breathtaking.  

The ceiling!

This reminds me of a fish's tail.
I leaned over the railing to take this shot... 
The patterns on this rock formation remind me of a sea turtle's fin.

How to get this shot: look up and take it from below.
These things always remind me of weird stony mushrooms or freaky trees.

An organ in the midst of the cavern. It utilizes many stalagmites/stalactites throughout the cavern. 

Okay, forget that I ever said I picked a "handful." I just couldn't limit them all! So I ended up choosing 46 out of 216. Not bad, huh? Well, honestly, I don't really think that my photographs did the caverns enough justice. If you haven't been to Luray Caverns before, you should definitely see it for yourself. It's utterly fascinating. And the temperature is nice. 

After walking the whole cavern, I went to the gift shop and bought a large chunk of an amethyst. It's beautiful. I mean, how could I walk out of there without buying a gorgeous rock to add to my collection--right? (Besides--it only cost $6.99). Since my camera battery is dead, I can't really take a photograph of it right now, so maybe I'll do it some other day.

dream lake
Dream Lake

look out above
You wouldn't want one of these things stabbing you in the head.



Monday, July 26, 2010

[photographic diary] at the pool after closing time

207: bywater



[photographic diary] jCamp: July 18 - 22

At first, I had a written documentation/journal about jCamp that I was going to publish to this blog, but then I thought better of it. I'd probably bore you all before I'd even gotten to the funny or entertaining parts. And I figured that my photography would do a better job of illustrating my experience...I hope.

Well, I'm not going to post all the photographs I took on the trip (that would be extremely troublesome for me and you), so I've selected a few that I especially liked for one reason or another.

Parking sign in front of Pink Cadillac, the place I had lunch with David, Jane, Matt and Megan on our way to Virgina Tech
vip, elvis fans

One of the things that captured my attention the most was how scenic Virginia Tech was. Or the area beyond Northern Virginia in general. The view is beautiful--endless chains of blue silhouetted mountains, fields of corn, pastures and lush green everywhere. There are plenty of trees on the Virginia Tech campus, too. Plenty of green. Besides trees and all, Virginia Tech itself is quite a beautiful place, in a different sense than what I'd normally expect. Unexpectedly, many of its buildings were made of brick or huge slabs of stone. But at night--it's splendid. Rows of lights divide the field. The field is very, very big. During the daytime, when I look around the field and up at the sky, it feels like I am staring into infinity. The night scenery is stunning.


Ruta, on the field.
beautiful expanse

Night scenery at Virginia Tech
205: Fortress in the Darkness

McBryde Hall

One of the night adventures included David Cooper climbing up a tree in attempts to retrieve a tennis ball. The conclusion of the story: we never found the tennis ball.

Um, yeah.
everybody loves megan, hmm?

Jane and her beautiful scarf
Jane (and her beautiful scarf)

Ruta, the only other normal person at jCamp. Just kidding.

The classic family portrait. We're just missing a few important people...
204: Newspaper Family Portrait

In my dorm room
203: meditation

Okay maybe this whole thing was pretty pointless considering I was/am too lazy to upload every single photograph I've got. But if you know me, go check my jCamp album on Facebook.