Dreamquake

Once in while I find myself waking from a dream that is so jarring, so horrific and realistic that it takes a few minutes to realize that I am safe at home in my bed with my husband and cats, and not in the life-threatening peril I thought I was in just moments before.

Other times I wake to find that my dream the previous night have had some kind of prophetic quality to it, regarding an animal I might run into later in the day, or a movie I might see later in the week.

It’s terrifying when those two types of dreams collide.

Last night I dreamt of an alien invasion. They looked like us, but much taller, standing about ten feet, with bigger, bald heads. (Think Richard Kiel’s alien in the episode of The Twilight Zone, where “To Serve Man” was actually a cookbook, but leaner and fitter.) I never saw the destruction coming, but one moment I looked out of the window to see nothing between here and the river. Nothing but flat land and charred trees, razed by some unseen force. Devastation.

We were told to collect what we could in a single suitcase, and get out of the building because the shuttles were coming to take us to a safe place. I remember laying out my clothes, unable to decide between my favorite comfy sweater that I’ve had for years and the new stylish outfit I purchased for an incredible $15 at Old Navy last weekend. I ended up throwing some random clothes in my suitcase, but not closing it, opting rather for a couple of music books I grabbed haphazardly from the shelf, clinging them to my chest the way we did in middle school.

The shuttle was supposed to come in two minutes – not much time to prepare. The woman upstairs was hysterical because she didn’t have enough arms to carry all her things, including a kitten she had rescued only the week before. One older couple decided they would rather stay put, as they believed they would be a burden to the survivors. Through all this, I realized that Paul was nowhere to be found, and I started screaming for him. I tried to run back to look for him, but the shuttle came. The conductor barked at me to get on board. I had no choice, as the building collapsed before me. Tears welled up in my eyes as everything I had ever known was whisked away from me. We took off, and the world itself disappeared. All I had left was the two books I clutched to my chest.

I awoke with a start. It wasn’t until Paul snorted a bit as he turned over that I realized that it was all a dream, that I hadn’t lost him, that our house was safe, that the outside world was still there.

A half hour later, when I turned on the computer and logged into Facebook, every post was about praying for the people in Japan. I opened the NY Times and saw that the worst earthquake to strike Japan in recorded history had struck just off the northern part of the country, and walls of water had swept everything away. Hundreds of people are dead, and at least as many are missing. Devastation.

It’s frightening to think that this was all happening as I dreamed a similar situation.

Grammar Nazi

I hate to say it, but I am a Grammar Nazi.

I am not by any means a perfect speller, and I sure as heck didn’t get my degree in literature or some other language-based medium. At least I try. Sure, I speak in LOLspeak and use other, not so grammatically correct turns of phrase on occasion, but the fact of the matter is that I know the difference, and I tend not to put the aforementioned bastardizations of the English language in print, especially on a social network feed where all my friends are privy to my inner workings.

The unfortunate fact is that many of my friends on Facebook and in the blogosphere do not bother to check their spelling and grammar, and it drives me crazy! Avoidable bad grammar is one of my pet peeves. Yet, I would probably lose most of my friends if I went around correcting their mistakes, which are many and often.

So, gentle readers, consider yourself forewarned: you are about to experience a rant about the main offenders in my news feed. More

To tweet or not to tweet

That is the question these days, isn’t it?

It seems like everyone I know has gotten on board the Twitter bandwagon. Every day I see more friends on Facebook posting statuses announcing their virgin tweets.

I have to confess, I’m not sure if I’m ready yet to take that plunge.

Sure, I like knowing what my friends are doing.  I’m nosy like that.  That’s why I stalk my friends on Facebook.  But my voyeuristic side could beat up my exhibitionist side.  I’m sure I would do much more following than leading, and that would sort of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

Besides the fact that complete strangers can follow you, as opposed to only your friends, I’m not sure I understand how Twitter is different from Facebook.  I mean, a tweet is just an update of what you’re doing at the moment.  How is that different from a Facebook status?  It all seems a bit redundant.

That said, while Facebook is reserved for people I have actually met in person, it’s not as if the rest of the world won’t know what’s going on with me.  That’s what this little corner of the internet is for.

Having once hijacked a friend’s Twitter account, I did notice something troublesome: the manner in which one searches for people.  It seems that unless you know a person’s username, you’re out of luck.  Real names seem to mean diddly-squat.  Case in point: I searched for someone by name, and I know for a fact that this person has a Twitter account.  Twitter pulled up no matches.  What’s the point in searching by name if the name you enter doesn’t matter?  Not having a way to search by email address without actually inviting that person isn’t exactly helpful, either.

In any case, I fear the possibility, nay, likelihood that any tweets made by me would quickly degenerate into updates from my phone as I walked through the apartment:

“Standing up now.”

“Tripping over the cat.  Why does she always walk directly in front of me?”

“Opening fridge door.  Can’t remember why.”

Right.  Because you all need to know that.

I’d like to have an open discussion about the merits (or lack therein) of the phenomenon that is Twitter.  Do you tweet?  Why do you do it?  Convince me that it’s a worthwhile use of my time and I’ll consider joining in the fun.

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