welcome to my subconscious

The return of the celebrity cameo

by Suw on August 7, 2008

A few years ago, I went through a phase of having celebrities make cameo appearances in my dreams. (I could have sworn that I had lots of blog post from years and years ago about celebrity cameos, but I can’t find them. They are probably there in the archives, somewhere, if you can be bothered to look for them.) Then, for reasons which remain unclear, they went away. Well, now they’re back.

For the last four nights I have had various celebs appear, firstly Mr Neil, who appeared two nights running. Then Iain Baker, DJ and keyboard breaker for Jesus Jones. Last night, it was Simon Le Bon and a rather startled-looking Nick Rhodes.

The odd thing is that these are all people that I’ve met, for varying definitions of the verb ‘to meet’. Neil I’ve had the honour of meeting once, and I would be over the moon if I ever got the chance to meet him again. They say you should never meet your idols, but you should when they are engaging, fascinating and kind. Iain used to be a DJ on XFM, back when it was the best radio station in town, and I had a wee little crush on him for years, mainly because he has an infeasibly sexy voice. He now falls into the ‘mate’ category, thanks to the wonders of Twitter. Simon bought me a drink after a gig once, although if he met me now he wouldn’t know me from Eve now. And Nick I once passed in a corridor. He sported the same startled-deer look in reality as he did in my subconscious.

Now, Mr Neil has been making cameos in my nocturnal meditations for a few years now and I have come to think of him as personifying creativity as he mainly seems to show up when I’m feeling particularly frustrated. I’m therefore guessing that, given that I consider Iain to be enormously talented and am a massive Duran Duran fan, they signify the same thing. Rather than attempting to pass comment, some 10 – 20 years later, on my musical tastes, I prefer to believe that my subconscious is merely pointing out to me that maybe it’s about time I stopped thinking about the bottom of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and started to consider the top.

I just wonder whether the fact that Neil only appears to me in the context of his house – I’m always at his house, or staying with him, or swimming in his swimming pool, or about to ask him if I can borrow his couch – has something to do with the yearning I have for somewhere to call my own, where perhaps I assume I’ll suddenly be able to start writing again. Although last night’s Duran dream occurred on a geography field trip and involved firstly a music masterclass and then swimming in a mirror-calm sea over tunnels in the sand, so God knows.

But then, sometimes I think dreams are just our subconscious’ way of poking us in the ribs and saying “Nyer”.

I wonder who will have the nerve to show up tonight.

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The Decrepitorium

by Suw on September 21, 2005

It's been ages since I've blogged a dream, primarily because they've actually all been rather dull lately, but this morning I had one of those surround-sound ultravivid IMAX-type dreams, which I can only summarise poorly in writing.

I'm outside some gates – multiple gates, set into a bay in a limestone wall far too high to look over. I've been here before. I recognise the avenue, the trees. Last time we couldn't get in, and I couldn't read what was above the gates. Now I can:

Arlingham Decrepitorium

It's a museum about death. The Decrepitorium. We're taken in through the gates by a small, balding, ferrety-looking guide, my dad and I, and into what looks like a small limestone mausoleum. Like so many mausoleums, this one is bigger on the inside than it looks and it's full. Of bodies. Mummified bodies. Plasticised bodies. Bodies in formaldehyde. Lots and lots of human bodes.
And death memorabilia. Stuff from Egyptian burials, small models of the embalming process, grave goods from countries I'd never even heard off. Coffin nails (including massive copper ones and ones with little jewels in). Loads of it. Mountains of the stuff.
And then there was the Decrepitorium Mirror. It ranged along a wall, with outlines painted onto it so that you could line yourself up, and when you gazed into it, it showed you what you would look like at various stages of decomposition. For some reason, I resembled Dominic Monaghan (the guy that plays Charlie in Lost), which is odd because he doesn't much look like a decaying corpse.

I love the idea of a Decrepitorium. It really would make a fantastic website – I can see it now, all gothic and Dave McKean-ish. And it's just a great word, although according to Google, it doesn't exist. Or didn't, until I dreamt it.
Thusly do I donate to the world a new word: decrepitorium. Make me proud. Get it into circulation and thence to the dictionary.

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I just typo'd my name again

by Suw on June 13, 2005

OK, so most of you know that my weird spelling started off as a typo, about 10 years ago. I just typo'd it again, ending up with Duw. Which means 'God' in Welsh.
What can I say? Be careful what you do, I'm one letter away from omniscience.

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Dr Who is such a tart!

by Suw on May 30, 2005

Just watched last night's Dr Who and I have to agree with Tom that not only is Dr Who is a bit of a tart, but he's also a bit free and easy with gender/species/group sex distinctions. Good for him, I say. Bit jealous really. I never get to dance, let alone set up an interesting threesome with aliens.
Last night I had a dream. Yes, another one. I was on a boat, with Christopher Ecclestone. We were on a river, which was all well and good, but it ran along the edge of a cliff… which was at least a mile high. The water slopped over the edge in a 'your boat would go straight over' manner which scared the crap out of me. But it was ok, because Christopher Ecclestone was there to keep me safe and sound.
But anyway, moving on. I was talking to my mate Ewan about this, and more now than ever I think his take is right. Dr Who is is the last survivor of the Time Wars. The Daleks are all dead. The Time Lords are all dead. Dr Who suffers horrendous survivor guilt and that colours everything he does.
This episode, more than any other, exemplifies survivor guilt. “Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives,” says the Doctor as the victims of the poorly adapted nanogenes are finally cured of their ills. The joy in his face is unparalleled by anything else we have seen in this series – he is for the first time truly delighted that he has been able to act as saviour, in however an indirect way.
Consider Father's Day, the episode in which Rose goes back in time to try to save her father's life. The Doctor knows exactly what she has done, he knows the disaster she has caused, and he knows what needs to be done to put it all right, but he can't bring himself to engineer Rose's father's death. He wants him to live, because he feels he can't be responsible for even one more life lost. He's willing to sacrifice the unknown masses in order to safe the known individual – a logic that previous Doctors would never have followed.
For ages with the new series of Dr Who I was really puzzled by the way that the Doctor seemed so passive – very much unlike past Doctors. In the episode The Long Game, with the astonishingly sexy Simon Pegg as The Editor, (why did no one tell me Simon was narrating the Dr Who Confidential series on BBC3? I would have watched them, dammit!), both the Doctor and Rose are helpless and at the mercy of the Editor and his Boss, and they rely upon a secondary character to free them.
This goes totally contrary to our expectations of the Doctor as the Mr Know It All who can fix anything. In fact, I can't think of a single episode in this series where Dr Who has actually taken charge and been directly responsible for the rescue of anyone. Dammit, even the Dalek he tries to rescue, (before he realises it's a Dalek) ends up committing suicide because Rose's DNA has infected it. Damn you, Russell T Davies. Damn your ability to make me cry over a Dalek!
But as soon as you look at this helplessness in terms of survivor guilt, it all makes sense. The Doctor is haunted by memories of the Time Wars. He can't understand why he is still live when everyone else is dead. He has no one left. Nothing left. Just him and his Tardis. Is he a traitor for not dying with the rest? Should he have done thing differently? Sacrificed his life? To what end? Time Lords were always survivors and to die a meaningless death would never have been acceptable.
So instead he is left alone, trying to make sense of what happened, and trying not to repeat what he sees as tragic mistakes. Just how responsible was the Doctor for the death of all those Time Lords, all those Daleks? We heard him crying “It's not my fault!” to the last remaining Dalek. Is that truth, or guilt? Was it his fault? How will Rose react when the truth comes out?
The Doctor is obviously in love with Rose, it's clear as day, and has been for episodes. Will he lose her when all this comes to a head*? It surely must – all the episodes are building up to a climax in which we find out what really happened in the Doctor's past. What were the Time Wars? What happened to the Daleks? The Time Lords? And where was The Master in all this? What part did he have to play? Davros? Is he still kicking about? (Or should that be 'levitating about'?)
I wasn't a Dr Who fan until this series. The old stuff I could take or leave and really not care about, but this series has been fantastic. Russell T Davies has put together a through line that has totally hooked me. He's done something truly different with the Doctor – he's made him human, fallible, vulnerable. For once, the Doctor is not there to save us poor apes, but is instead saved by us. We are going on his personal journey, instead of a journey through space and time that he happens to be taking us on.
As a scriptwriter, I find all this fascinating, and I have to admit to a bit of jealousy. What I wouldn't give to have the opportunity to take a character like the Doctor and turn him on his head, do something really cool and interesting with him. Dr Who is, without doubt, up there with Battlestar Galactica as my all-time favourite scifi.
Anyway, it's 1.20am now – how the hell did that happen? – and whilst I could easily wax lyrical for another hour or so, I shan't. Time for bed. Christopher, are you coming?
* OK, I know Ecclestone leaves at the end of this series, which means a regeneration, which means the relationship is doomed. I was just trying not to think about it, ok?

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I woke up with a jolt this morning. I was having a dream involving a person I actually know talking to me about a situation that actually exists, except that this person was telling me something that could not possibly be true in the waking world. It woke me, because as revelations go, it was pretty damn big and would have had huge implications.
It also left me wondering how much that dream might colour my perceptions of the situation in real life. This is not to say that I am delusional and about to start thinking that dreams are real, or harbingers, or predictive, just that much of the way we react to things is subconscious, and this just seemed to be to me another way in which my subconscious can successfully fuck me about.
I'm not really talking here about what dreams are, why we have them, or what they mean – symbolically or otherwise – but do they have a knock on effect on the way we behave and think once we have awoken? Is the dream simply a manifestation of existing wishful thinking and therefore powerless to affect us in any new way, or can a dream implant such notions? Even if such notions already exist, does bringing them to the fore by playing them out in our dreams make them more entrenched, give them more influence?
Certainly dreams can fuck with my mood.
Years back Sam, my old school friend with whom I am staying right now, and I shared a series of houses and flats in Hounslow. I had a dream once that we had gone out on a speedboat on the sea and she had fallen overboard and drowned. This tragedy was particularly harsh because (in real life) her younger brother Peter had died in a car accident only a few months before. I woke sobbing and stayed tearful and upset the whole day.
Obviously the dream didn't leave me thinking that Sam actually had drowned, or that she was about to drown, or that drowning was even a remote possibility, but it did change my mood quite dramatically, sinking me into a miasma I couldn't shake off.
However, I've also had some fantastic dreams that have woken from feeling all happy and energised. So it cuts both ways.
Then there is the issue of what insights dreams may provide into cognitive problems. This morning I also dreamt of a wonderful model for explaining the cultural change lifecycle in business – complete with a diagram with four quadrants, (for some reason there were pictures of humans, monkeys, chimps and apes in the background of each quadrant), and four conditions that had to be satisfied to progress to the next quadrant. I wish I could remember what those conditions were, because in the dream it all made perfect sense. Unfortunately, I have a very visual memory, but am crap at remembering facts, words, numbers or names.
(Which probably explains why I spent much of yesterday morning staring at Jamie Cowling trying to figure out where the hell I'd met him before, because I swear I have. My visual brain was screaming that we've met before, but my memory refused to tell me where or, indeed, if.)
So anyway, yes. I suppose in one way this is all a rather stupid post. Of course our subconscious affects conscious behaviour. It's just that usually, it doesn't rub our noses in it quite so much.

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The hunting and the snark

by Suw on May 26, 2005

I hate buying clothes. And shoes. I'm just not very good at it. Where some women delight in trying on a gazillion outfits, I would rather that the first one fit so that I can buy it and get down the pub/to the Apple store/back online.
I have hardly any clothes at all – if you've met me more than once you have basically seen my entire wardrobe. I have male geek friends who have more clothes than I do. In fact, I have male geek friends whom I suspect have more skirts than I do, and who wear them more often.
I live in dread of the day when I am suddenly struck by the need to purchase an item of clothing because I know that what will ensue will be nothing more than tedium, back pain and suffering. Indeed, so reticent am I that my friend Kate usually has to frogmarch me from shop to shop. That girl's armlock is second to none, I can tell you.
Usually, the only things that can make me buy clothes are weddings, the threat of imminent clothing malfunction, or a sudden and uncomfortable change in the weather. Such as, for example, the precipitous arrival of a summery day which forces me to accept that my ten year old Adidas Campus are just not suitable footware for the current climate. Thus did I today decide that it was time to buy a new pair of sandals.
I knew exactly what I wanted – simple strappy heels in baby blue. I think, in retrospect, that was the problem. I knew what I wanted and all I had to do was find them. Except that this season, sandals are either flat flip-flops or covered in crap – butterflies or flowers or equally vile manifestations of too much oestrogen (or, in fact, a vile manifestation of the projection by shoe designers of too much oestrogen onto the female sandal-buying population).
So I trudged round Richmond, trying not to throw up over huge bejewelled dragonfly-encrusted sandals and generally failing to find what I really wanted. By the time I'd run out of shops to look in, I started to downsize my expectations. Maybe I could live without them being blue. Maybe I could cope without strappy. Possibly, just possibly, I could live without heels.
No, sorry, some things cannot be compromised. I don't have too bad a pair of pins, but heels really do make them look longer and slimmer and sometimes a girl likes to persist in the delusion that her legs are worth showing off to the world once in a while.
Having failed to find the perfect pair, I end up going back to the very first shop that I went into to reassess a less than perfect pair which were the only ones I'd seen that didn't look like they were designed by a rabid hippy. Whilst waiting for the assistant to locate a pair of the turquoise sparkly sandals in the right size, I spotted a pair which were not blue and not strappy, but which somehow looked really nice.
I tried on the turquoise sandals and they were nice, but felt a bit wobbly. So I tried on the non-blue sandals and they were far more comfortable – I've always been a sucker for wood and leather shoes for one, and they felt so much more stable. Trouble is, they could only locate one size 6, and the other sizes patently didn't fit. Gah. I find a pair that I actually want and I can't sodding have them.
Thus am I now the less than proud owner of a pair of turquoise sparkly strappy sandals which may well break my ankle before the week is out, but which are at least not too vile. Even if they do make me look pigeon-toed.

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The Hand of Sod

by Suw on May 25, 2005

Why is it that the night you really want to have good night's sleep, because you have to get up early the next day to go to London, is always the night you toss and turn and wake up too early and can't get back to sleep?
I made the mistake of giving in to chocolate fudge cake last night. I shouldn't have. Now I ache from head to foot, as if whilst I was sleeping someone had given me a good going over with a cricket bat.
And the dreams. Oh god, the dreams. Every single dream was basically the same. All about the same thing. Message to my subconscious: Yes, ok, ok, I get it. Now shut up!
Can I go back to bed now, please? No? Damn.
Anyway, off to London today, back on Saturday probably. Lots of meetings. Wish me luck.

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Why am I awake?

by Suw on April 23, 2005

I woke up again before 7am this morning, after only six hours' sleep. It's now 8am and the chances of me nodding off once more to blissful sleep are nil. (Well, it'd probably be less than blissful because my subconscious has been playing nasty tricks on me lately by making me dream that the thing I most want in life is actually real, which means when I wake up I feel somewhat disappointed to discover that reality is not what my subconscious says it it. Thing is, what I want most in life now is incredibly simple but not something I can arrange.)
So either I snuggle down under the duvet and pretend to be asleep for an hour, or I get up and pretend to be awake.

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Ooh, glad to be awake

by Suw on February 3, 2005

Weird, weird dreams last night, containing a rather scary zombie attack from zombies who weren't quite as shambolic as Shaun of the Dead would have you believe. They knew where I was and they were coming to get me and doors and windows and walls weren't going to stop them.
I was only hiding out in that small triangular-shaped flat, high above the city cos I was trying to keep away from the rozzers after murdering two nasty men who had been following me with nothing but my own strength and a rather over-effective Vulcan nerve pinch. In retrospect I should possibly have got rid of their bodies more discretely, rather than carry them round with me for a bit and then just tossing them in the river. But my excuse is that the stars made me do it.
It was a beautiful night, but the stars seemed to be flickering. A lot. And moving. The city's skyscrapers shimmered prettily in the distance, and the big zooming asteroid that came hurtling through the sky to eventually flatten half the CBD leant a sort of apocalyptic beauty to everything. But it was ok, because a small talking fox with a passion for the number 9 joined me in the garden. We only had six chairs at the table at that point, but we managed to locate another three to make the fox happy.
However, it was deeply unfortunate that the fox should end up at immigration, only to be zipped up into a spare, empty suitcase to be taken to quarantine. They were going to burn the suitcase afterwards, but I worried that they might forget to let Mr Fox out first.
No celebrity cameos as far as I can remember, although I have had a couple in recent weeks, they weren't worthy of mention here.
Time for breakfast.

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In a case which has stunned and shocked the blogging world, long-time blogger and self-proclaimed blog 'expert' Suw Charman was today fired by the Blogosphere for alleged gross moral turpitude. Ms Charman was brought before a disciplinary hearing late last night, long after she should have been in bed, and summarily dismissed, sources close to the blogger said.
In a statement read to the press today, a tearful Ms Charman said, “This is an outrageous abuse of power and the Blogosphere should be ashamed of itself. This isn't about gross moral turpitude, it's just a vendetta against me because I never wrote my own blog software in BBEdit back in 1998. I can't help not being a l33t haX0r. It's just the way I am.”
The Blogosphere refused to comment on the case, saying that there were privacy laws to be abided by, and besides, the less it said the quicker the whining old cow would vanish off the news radar.
The forcible removal of Ms Charman from the Blogosphere was effected by Mr K Marks, of Technorati fame.
“We have been following Ms Charman closely since she first started to leave the tail of the power law curve,” said Mr Marks, speaking off the record. “When it became clear that she had pretensions to the A-List we took action and have now removed every trace of her from our databases, including the two anonymous blogs she thought she had deleted, and the new one she thinks no one knows about.”
Mr Marks has admitted, however, to keeping copies of Ms Charman's anonymous writing, particularly that juicy post about waxing her bikini line, 'in case it comes in handy later'.
Ms Charman has strongly protested her innocence, refuting claims that her blog was bland, boring and a waste of pixels, a view shared by Mr R Ojisan, resident of Hasch Joeetoh. Mr Ojisan defied the Blogosphere by saying “Ms Charman's blog is no worse than most other blogs out there. The truth is that the vast majority of blogs are bunch of arse and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Only one blog out of the five million that have been created is actually any good, and that's mine haytchteeteepeecolonslashslash…”
Another Hasch Joeetohnian, who agreed to talk to us only after strict conditions were met and a large sum of money handed over, promised that if Ms Charman started a new blog it would be hunted down and spammed off the face of the planet.
“She can run, but she can't hide,” said our anonymous source by the name of T Roll. “We have ways of discerning the identity of a blogger purely from a sample of their writing. The way that she overuses commas and her unhealthy preference for the passive tense gives her away every time. She thinks she is a grammar queen, but she can't use a quote mark properly to save her life and we will use this against her. She should give in gracefully and take up knitting instead.”
Meanwhile, Charman's supporters rallied to her defence. “Thank fuck it wasn't me,” said one, just after the news broke. “Yeah, I think I'm gonna take a break from blogging for a while,” said the other.
Ms Charman's partner, Mr C Rw, who has just recovered from groundbreaking surgery after a small stroke, has stood by her side throughout this devastating time. “Wubba wubba wubba wubba wubba,” he said vehemently, until he was lead back to his hospital bed for further observation.
In an astounding revelation, however, Ms Charman was heard to say – via the latest miniaturised listening devices recommended by so-cool-it-hurts blog BingBong – that she wished she had been fired earlier.
“I was working my pert little arse off for fuck all dosh,” she said to a far more talented friend when she thought no one could hear, “so frankly I'm delighted. I was starting to think that I was going to have to start posting taudry, poorly written fabrications of my life as a slut, or become an x-rated vidcamgirl, in order to get myself a book deal, but being fired by the Blogosphere is a far easier way of doing it. Not only do I now no longer need to get my tits out for the lads, I can pretend to be hard done by and feed off everyone's sympathy. I wonder if I can get the suckers to pay off my credit cards for me too.”
When confronted with this by an official certified professional proper journalist, Ms Charman jabbed her fingers into his eye-sockets and said, “Ffyc off, cont”, which apparently translates from the Welsh as 'Please leave the vicinity, you objectionable person'.
Ms Charman has since been offered a cool half mil to write a pile of steaming shite about her experiences as an internet underdog popular folk hero for a well known international publishing house who really should know better. Her blog has been posthumously given the Blog of the Year award by The Guardian. She will be the first blogger to appear on Question of Sport, and is widely tipped to become the new permanent host of Have I Got New For You.
In other news, The Guardian's Online editor and the Director General of the BBC were today both found bound and gagged in an abandoned squat, tautologically repeating over and over again, “Not the Fflwff stories! Please god! Not the Fflwff stories! We'll give you anything you want!”

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Learning to fly

October 22, 2004

There are two sorts of blog post: posts written for the reader, and posts written for the writer. This is definitely in the latter category. Equally, there are two best sorts of dreams. Flying dreams and lucid dreams. This post concerns both. I dream of flying fairly frequently, but not as often as I would [...]

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Jumping the Ladder

October 18, 2004

Until today, the whole car-crashed undead zombie that is my lovelife made no sense to me, or anyone else for that matter. Not alive, but not actually dead either, it just limped along, losing limbs as a matter of course and getting progressively fuglier and fuglier. Today, however, I was pointed in the direction of [...]

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Analyse thi… oh, no, maybe don't

August 19, 2004

Last night I had a dream that a very small frog was stuck in my right ear. I couldn't get a hold of it to pull it out, but neither could it wriggle out by itself. It was a bit like having a Babel Fish stuck in one's ear, with all the sliminess but without [...]

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