dog mom

My Darling B woke crying from a dream this morning. At first I thought it was something I was dreaming. I remembered a dream in which I was freaked out by the sound of someone crying for help. Then she cried out again but louder this time, loud enough to wake me all the way up. I tried to comfort her and it must have worked, because she went back to sleep.

The ability to dream is so amazingly wonderful and yet at the same time so soul-crushingly cruel. We have the ability to experience visions so realistic that they include sensation and emotion, but we have little to no control over them and they’re usually really stupid, like running from a man-eating bear when you’re stuck in slow motion, or talking to a dog who’s really your mom. As if life isn’t stupid and scary enough, we have to put up with stupid and scary in our sleep, too. If I had any control over my dreams, I’d be making love to my beautiful wife on the beach every time I closed my eyes.


I woke up this morning from a dream in which a doctor was telling me, “We’ll have to remove your eyeballs. Can you come in this afternoon?” And I was like, “Uhh, can I have just a moment to absorb this please?”

Then I woke up and, because it was five o’clock in the morning and too dark to see, I immediately felt my face to make sure I had eyeballs.


The few scraps of the dreams I had before I woke up this morning were so weirdly dark and twisted that I can’t come up with a way to summarize them. When I finally woke up with the bits and pieces of the last dream still rattling around in my head I was so discombobulated that I wasn’t sure what year it was, let alone where I was. And somehow my weird dreams woke me up just minutes before the alarm was scheduled to go off.

Feels like it’s going to be a long day.


In my dream I was running water for a shower, waiting for it to get hot, when I noticed the water wasn’t draining from the tub. Kneeling down to get a closer look, I could see sand piled up in the drain, so I stuck my little finger in and scooped some out. I kept tweaking it out a little bit at a time with my little finger until I realized that was going to take forever, so I went to the kitchen to get a clear plastic drinking cup with a lid and a straw. I put a hose over the end of the straw, punched a hole in the top of the lid, and by sucking air through the hole I made a little vacuum cleaner that I could use to suck the sand out of the drain. It’s weird how even my dreams can turn into nerdy gadget projects.


Woke up from a dream in which I was happily singing folk songs while accompanying myself on the guitar. I don’t play a guitar but in the dream it was a lot of fun so I may have to learn.

I woke because I had to go for a piddle. That done, I crawled back into bed and totally failed to fall asleep, even though I tried for an hour. So here I am. *sigh*

wakey wakey

I had to get out of bed early this morning because My Darling B wasn’t making any noise AT ALL. I woke up from a dream, made a quick visit to the bathroom, climbed back into bed and, while I was waiting to return to Slumberland for what I was sure would be several more hours, I realized that B was making absolutely no sound. I couldn’t even hear her breathing.

This is not normal. Normal, on any given night in our house, is lots and lots of snoring. I’m as guilty of it as she is, and I know this because she has made a recording of me snoring so I could hear that I sound like a diesel dump truck downshifting on an off-ramp when I snore. She sounds more like a cartoon Dagwood: SNXXXX! SNXXXX!

So when she makes absolutely no sound at all, it can weird me out. Not always. There are lots of nights when I’m so oblivious of what’s going on around me that I can easily return to sleep after any one of my six dozen visits to the loo in the middle of the night, and thank goodness. Having Old Man Bladder would be a million times worse if I couldn’t.

But on a night like tonight after waking from a dream full of super-creepy twists and turns, my lizard brain sometimes kicks in. “She’s not breathing,” it says to me.

“Oh stop it,” I say right back. “Of course she’s breathing.”

“Can you hear her breathing? No, you can’t.”

“Of course I can’t, my tinnitus is ringing off the hook.”

“Your tinnitus isn’t that loud.”

“Shrieking banshees aren’t as loud as my tinnitus. Quit bothering me.”

“So you’re not worried at all that she’s not breathing.”

“No, I’m not worried, because she is breathing and she’s fine.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. She’s perfectly fine. It’s just that tonight she’s really, really quiet. Happens all the time”

“No. It never happens. She’s never this quiet.”

“Well aren’t you going to do something about it then?”

“And what am I going to do? Give her a poke? That’d go over well I’m sure.”

“You don’t have to do anything as rude as poking her. Just roll over, yawn, scratch yourself, make a little noise, same as you do every night.”

That’s what I did: I made a little noise, then laid perfectly still to see what her reaction would be. Only she didn’t react at all. She continued to lie there, still as a statue, and made no sound. So I rolled over, yawned, stretched, adjusted the bed covers, did a little cat/cow, farted. Finally she made a tiny snuffling noise.

“There! See? She’s breathing.”

“Pffft. Corpses make a noise just like that when they get gassy.”

“You went there. I can’t believe you went there. How are you even part of my psyche?”

“Your psyche is totally screwed up and you know it. Now give her a poke to see if she’s alive.”

Well, dear reader, I didn’t poke her. At that point I gave up on sleep, rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make some coffee. As I grabbed my pants on the way out, B whimpered in her sleep and shifted the blankets to get more comfortable.

Sleep well, B.


My Darling B woke me with a shriek this morning. Well, not exactly a shriek but a pretty scary and not very quiet shout. She usually makes quiet little whimpering noises when she’s having a bad dream, but this was not a whimper. This was a full-throated cry for help. Scared the shit out of me.


You want to know what’s been stuck in my head on a loop all morning? Probably not, but I’m going to answer that rhetorical question anyway:

person woman man camera TV

I went paddling on the lake this morning. I put in early, before all the bleepheads started roaring around in their power boats, so I could enjoy the stillness. And I did. It was very quiet, very calming. And the whole time, my brain kept repeating:

person woman man camera TV

I paddled around for about two hours, paddling across Wicawak Bay after putting in on Frost Woods Beach. I used one of the channels through the Belle Isle neighborhood to get to Lake Monona, turned south to cut back across the mouth of Wicawak Bay to the southern shore, then followed the shore to the Yahara River. All around the bay I enjoyed the sight of ducks with their ducklings, turtles basking on logs in the sun, herons sweeping through the skies after launching themselves from low-hanging branches, and

person woman man camera TV


I just want a little peace and quiet on my day off. A day where the idiot in chief doesn’t mess with my head. I guess that’s not possible now.

I even dreamed about him last night. I dreamed we were watching him on TV. He was falling from a great height, many hundreds of feet. I don’t know what he fell out of or why, but the cameras were zoomed in on him tumbling through the air. He wasn’t flailing or yelling or doing any of the dramatic things falling people do in movies; he was falling like a sack of potatoes, tossed one way, then the other by the passing wind. Then, just before he hit the ground, the camera pulled back. We could somehow hear the thump he made, even though he was quite a long distance from the camera.

I turned to My Darling B and said, “You realize this means Pelosi is president now.” She nodded, speechless because of what we had seen. (I don’t remember any part of the dream that would have explained what happened to Pence.)

The dream was so startling that I woke up right after that, and it was so vivid that I almost woke up My Darling B, still slumbering next to me, to ask her, “Did Trump fall out of a plane or something today?” But I was also still so confused by the sudden juxtaposition of my dream on reality that I simply laid there thinking about it for several minutes, and it eventually dawned on me that it was only a dream and Trump was still very much alive.

And probably still bragging to anyone who will listen about passing that stupid test two years ago.


Woke up from a dream this morning in which I was taking turns driving a truck. I was supposed to be off-duty, catching some sack time in the back, but the guy driving the truck needed help navigating, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and joined him in the cab with a map.

The cab of the truck was more like the bridge of a cargo ship. Really big. I was standing next to the driver with lots of dead air between the top of my head and the roof of the cab. There was enough floor space to play hockey. It was a big cab.

The map I was using was full-size. Scale was 1:1. I mean, I was looking at a map that was the same size of the road we were driving. It was like I was in a plane looking down at the countryside, only I was in the cab, looking at a map I could hold in my hands that was the actual size of the world. Even in the dream, this seemed a little outlandish to me.


Woke up this morning from a dream about living in a pandemic (wonder why I had *that* dream?). It must have been a really bad pandemic, because everyone was wearing MOPP gear.

MOPP gear is the protective clothing the military wears to protect themselves against nuclear, biological, and chemical attack. There was a gas mask with a hood that covered your head, neck, and shoulders; a coat and pants; thick rubber gloves and boots; and a set of high-octane epipens we were expected to inject ourselves with if we were exposed to nerve gas.

Every time I was stationed overseas, I was issued a duffel bag filled with MOPP gear, and I had to take refresher training in how to use it. In refresher training, we buddied up and practiced how to put on and take off MOPP gear in such a way that we would not contaminate ourselves with nerve gas.

They never actually gassed us in these training sessions, except for the very first training I went through, and in that case it was some pretty low-grade tear gas. Everybody in every training I went to had a pretty relaxed attitude about how to wear MOPP gear. If they’d used full-strength tear gas on us in any of those training sessions, I’m pretty sure ninety percent of us would have been incapacitated.

And if we’d had to live in MOPP gear for days or weeks on end, the way you might have to in a pandemic, I’d bet money that the ten percent who weren’t incapacitated for being lax would go crazy from wearing the mask all the time. Maybe the new masks aren’t so bad, but the mask I had to wear was like smooshing your face between the cold butt cheeks of a hippopotamus. And the visibility through the tiny goggle lenses was about the same. Claustrophobia doesn’t begin to describe the experience.