The Sin Collector

I dreamt last night that I had died, & God assigned me the task of noting & categorizing the sins of the newly dead by going through something like a highlight (or is it lowlight?) reel of their lives.

I was sitting in front of what seemed like some kind of AVID rig & going through The Tapes. Thankfully, it was not my job to count cruelty to children or sexual assault or anything like that. My particular “beat” was cruel things said.

That’s right; words do hurt.

But what was interesting is I was meant to establish context. The final tallies ended up in Degrees that, no joke, ranged from School Yard Silliness (eg. “YOU’RE a poopiehead”) to The Dozens (eg. “Yo mama so fat…”) to Almost Kind of Hitler. I won’t repeat any of that.

My instructions were quite clear. No one was to be marked down for saying words they didn’t know the meaning to, for repeating what others said with the intent to convey information, or for words that didn’t actually hurt anyone even if maybe another person who had no context heard them & found them offensive. My angelic supervisor was adamant that offense was not the same as pain.

Lies were also considered hurtful words.

And yes, anything that had been confessed was wiped from the tapes, so I wouldn’t even have seen them. I figured out fairly quickly who had ever been to confession & who hadn’t by the amount of gaps in their reel.

I was told that each evaluation then gets combined with other evaluations & a Judgement is rendered from the full report. Some of you would be surprised by who did poorly.

It struck me upon waking that this was a terrible job, & I am certain that God doesn’t do it that way. It also struck me upon waking that there are people alive in the world today on social media & elsewhere who have made this their job. They don’t get paid for it, but they quite literally scour people’s online history to find anything they’ve said that might be deemed hurtful or offensive or even slightly dodgy.

The difference is, they don’t give a damn about context. The Dozens becomes misogynist fat shaming. Teenagers calling each other the fringe words of their culture becomes racism & homophobia. People with self deprecating senses of humour are judged to be racist, body-shaming, or all number of things.

There are some people who really are quite awful online. That’s different. But finding the awful people has spawned something of a crusade to “get” others, with quite ridiculous results.

I always wonder if people are paid to take things out of context. Because in the context of a person’s entire life, what Skeeter McTweeter said on MySpace when he was 13 is not going to be the same thing he says on Twitter at 23. At least, one hopes not.

What someone drunk Tweets with friends at 24 is not the same thing she thinks at 34 with two children.

What someone said repeatedly over the course of a few recent months might be an established pattern of actual belief. If people employed common sense more often, this would be evident.

And yet here we are. I kind of wish knitting were still a thing everyone did. Keeps their hands busy. Less drama. More blankets.

I don’t want to live in a world where we police each other’s thoughts. If you say something I think is gross & we are not friends, I’ll just unfollow you. How’s that? If we’re friends, we’ll talk about it.


But now that everybody’s a gotcha journalist/investigator, it can’t be that simple. It needs to be A Thing. “On October 14, 2008, you bought a pumpkin spice latte & made a shitty comment about white women.”

Well, yes. I am one, & I both lament & revel in my basicness. I AM GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED TO LOVE PUMPKIN SPICE AND BEETS WITH GOAT CHEESE leave me alone.

If you enjoyed this, you will probably dig my books. I don’t know.


What in the actual

I am trying to remember my dream from last night because I know it was Significant. I fell asleep in tearful prayer (apparently the glutening is still a thing, despite my slight improvement in symptoms), and I prayed to remember anything told me. But it seems I have been shown things instead (which happens).

I can’t remember the beginning at all, but eventually it seemed to unfold that I worked at a thrift store run by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. We were all of us encouraged to shop there, too, so we did. I think my Facebook friend Eric was my coworker somehow.

I had been looking through make-up (something I would never buy used) when a girl (maybe Meghan from Reno?) brought me an empire-waisted blue top with 3/4 lace cuffed sleeves. It seemed cute to me in the dream, so I tried it on. It didn’t quite fit over my clothes. She found another that was more of an Easter green & that was a little too big, but quite comfortable. Everybody thought it looked really good although I looked pregnant.

I had no time to take it off because Bishop Diane was visiting. She set her shoes (shearling-lined wooden clogs with a bit of a heel) aside & asked me to try them on in front of everybody. They were comfortable, but I felt like something was off. I touched the top of my head, which was sticky.

I went into a bathroom & there was dried dirt caked on my face (that I assumed came from the top I was wearing) & it looked like a bird had crapped fuchsia glitter slime onto the top of my head. I could see it & feel it, but nobody else noticed it. I was pointing it out to people, but nobody could see it.

Suddenly I was in a subway station and Jimmie was hovering over the far platform in the lotus position. “Everything I have said is as it is,” he intoned with a smile, which is interesting, because in the real world, he has been trying to help me understand something.

Then the “screen” of my mind went blank, and the cat flew in with an envelop & a wax stamp.

This cat.He stamped the envelop with an elaborate, pretty black seal & handed it to me, saying in a kitty voice “Here!” Then I distinctly heard Jesus say, “This is my official seal; these were your answers. Wake up.”

And I did.

The seal was a very wispy, delicate version of this, but in a circle with some leafy looking embellishments:

To say that I am confused is an understatement. I am also really tired. Jesus wanted me to only get 6 hours of sleep (well, Him & the cat).

Hecho En Mexico

The most significant item in this dream, to me, is that I was drinking a non-gluten free beer, which is the first time I’ve consumed a gluteny item in a dream since my celiac diagnosis in 2009. Indeed, my paranoia about getting sick again is so ingrained that even when Eliza Dushku took me to a pastry buffet in one dream, I refused.

But you guys no doubt will find the rest much more interesting.

I was asked to come down to a Mexican border town to meet a prominent Mexican psychiatrist to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of a famous American. The doctor met me for the cervesa (which I did order “light”…evidently I can’t not dream I’m off my diet), but said he’d rather discuss the case in his office. We walked down the street to a beautiful old stucco building and went inside.

His office was a richly appointed typical psychiatrist’s office, with shelves of books and a couch or two covered in fine Corinthian leather. My brain is nothing if not informed by Ricardo Mantelban. He took out a file and handed it to me with great ceremony. I sat in a chair and started reading:

Subject displays profound fear of alien abduction. He states he has been taken by aliens in the past and probed anally with a long, glowing, white instrument. His obsession and paranoia over this instrument has caused him to experience great psychological discomfort when rewatching Star Wars. He presents because Star Wars viewing is an integral part of his identity, and he wishes to be free of this distress so he can return to his normal life activities.

The photo inside the file and the name on the file was Wil Wheaton. I looked up at the doctor and he looked at me with wild eyes.

“Chupacabras, Miss Adan?”

I chuckled. “Maybe Star Wars overload.”

“¿Creas en las chupacabras, Señorita?”

“No, doctor. But the patient clearly should be submitted to involuntary psychiatric incarceration & observation.”

“Then it is as I feared. This is the course of action I had decided upon, but I needed your help to get your government’s permission. I will write up the order now.”

He scrawled the order in pencil on a legal pad, which was apparently good enough for the US government. In a joint effort between American authorities and Federales, we finally cornered Wheaton on a dock at gun point & took him into protective custody, for his own good. Myself & the doctor asked the law men to please go carefully with the patient, as his fear of chupacabras was so great that any authority figures might spook him. They locked him in the back of a car & he pressed his hands against the window, screaming “No, not again!”

Then I woke up.

My Brain is a Meme DJ: Mash It Up!

Despite everything that happened yesterday, I didn’t dream about Sunny, which tells me she’s in a place of peace. Meanwhile, I had one of THE weirdest dreams I’ve had in a while, & that’s saying something.

It started with me just hanging out with a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while. We were in one of those little hole-in-the-wall restaurant/coffee shops where one wall is a chalkboard w/ that day’s menu. It was positively Beckian in proportion. Friend & I were talking casually, but it was awkward. In a good way. We didn’t need to say the things that were apparent. It was mostly BS about the issues of the day, & we were comfortable & happy. I also know I’m missing a crucial piece of dialogue. I was hoping by writing it down, it would come out. No dice.

Things then got very odd. I went back to my loft apartment, which was awesome & does not exist in real life. Instead of my actual sister, there was this tiz-wad who in the dream was my sister. My sister has not been annoying or shrill since she was 4 years old. This dream “sister” was 800 kinds of shut-the-fuck-up. And she shared the loft with me.

She was freaking out because she was inviting her new boyfriend over for the first time. I helped her tidy the place, then the guy popped by. He was amiable & affable & other words beginning with A. He looked a lot like the guy who played the robot boy in that one 80s film. So…not hot.

My fake dream sister saw that the two of us got along swimmingly & were joking immediately & got screamy jealous. She accused me, in front of him, of trying to gank her man. He took her flailing arms & calmed her. “KellieJane isn’t interested in me, sweetheart. She has someone else in love with her. Someone who loves her very much. She doesn’t need me.”

In the dream, I was single. Just like real life.

Upon that last line, there was a dissolve (yes, my dreams have camera directions & cuts) & I was backstage at what appeared to be a mash-up musical of “Sweeney Todd” & “HMS Pinafore” & “Oliver!” Yeah, I know. It was a hot mess. I was not in that production, but the friend from the first part was. It was several years later. He was grey & wearing a Victorian-era sea captain’s garb. I was inexplicably in overalls, carrying buckets of paint. He yelled to me as I went by. “Hey, kid!” (Men have always called me kid. I’ve no idea why.) I turned around. “Hey, you! Lookin’ grizzled!”

We had a conversation about the production. It was opening night, & things weren’t even done yet. We talked about how Ian McKellen was brilliant but crotchety (I hope this means he’ll still be around in 20 years!). We talked about the probability of all the sawdust being removed before opening curtain. We made fun of some divas. He was quiet & sorta sad for a minute, then said “I love ya, kid!” and I cheerfully said “I know. Break a leg.” And I turned and walked away…

…into a wipe. Pan across a giant iron gate in a dark, decaying land. There is a high, blackened stone wall & two letters were welded into the spiked gate: “SS”. I shit you not. It was *that* bad of a World War 2 sci-fi action musical. Oh yes.

In the dream I was aware I was starring in a film. I was dressed like freakin’ Sailor Moon. I did some kind of anime/Kung Fu movie flip over the wall & hid behind a pillar. There was a cast of like a thousand Nazis doing Rockette-esque kicks while singing “The Nazi party is always a party/It’s the party that never e-eh-ends!” [OMG it’s so much worse than “Springtime For Hitler”].

As the Nazis (sequined Nazis) do their number around this large reflecting pool (hello Ziegfeld!), I snuck around into a pogrom full of poor & destitute, miserable people. I start leading them out & to safety when the Nazis discover us & light the homes & shops on fire. What follows is a truly insulting action sequence where I kick all their asses John Wu style while the Chemical Brothers or The Propellerheads plays loudly on amongst a ton of foley. By film standards it was pandering & insipid. It was also kind of awesome. I got the people to safety. Another fade…

My mum, my actual sister (though she’s always 11 to me), my brother, & my fluffy liberal cat Persephone are on a plane. We are flying to Japan. We stay at a 5 star exclusive hotel on the ocean (I know, I know). I am staying by myself in the penthouse as I’m expected to do interviews there following the success of my truly awful Nazi sci-fi musical action film. My family is staying one below. As we rode up on the elevator together, my mum said “Oh lah ti dah, Miss Movie Star.” Then she was pissed off that it let me off at my floor first, even though I was the highest up. “Stupid bloody backwards country,” she snipped.

The concierge has placed Persephone on the balcony of my suite for some reason. I do a little bungee jumping off the balcony to the entertainment of delighted diners below (this would NEVER happen in real life) & I pop back in & enter the room. It is freaking amazing. There are four types of baths, & each sink & bath has fully stocked top end grooming products AND a featured bottle of booze to go with each experience. There are TWO recording booths, a Tinkerbell guitar, and total bliss…NO tellies. I’m on my cell with the friend. “Dude, you should come out. This place is freaking amazing.” He says he might if he can swing it. I call another male friend, who can’t make it but thinks it sounds rad. I call Kinsey Schofield, who says “Oh my freakin’ God. I will be there as soon as is magically possible.”

I then entered another bathroom & this was one that hadn’t been cleaned. It was clear the prior occupant had been eating Indian food in there & also had explosive diarrhea. I was about to call housekeeping when, of course, I woke up.

So. That was lovely.

No Candy For Those Who Kill

I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough now that it’s starting to inhabit my dreams. The one I had last night was particularly California-y by way of J.J. Abrams, because it was supposed to be set on the Vermont/Canada border but looked more like Ventura & Kester. Yet was labeled on the “screen” of my mind in big block white letters as VERMONT/CANADA BORDER.

The coolest part of my dream? I looked like Eliza Dushku sometimes. But only sometimes. I was like a wereDushku.

It was clear I was on the well marked, Ventura-y border of Canada because some nefarious happenings were happening. For one, nearly everyone spoke French, which I could speak fluently though I’m pretty sure it was pig French. Also, people kept telling me there were human monsters in Canada, leaking through the poorly patrolled Vermont border, and I had to kill them.

Here’s the part where the boys get excited & then disappointed. The human monsters were infiltrating a Lesbian Conference, though it was French, so it sounded like less-bee-EHN. Lesbians (yes, all of them) were launching a product that would make people lesbian at will.

This product looked like the thing quarterbacks wear to protect their kidneys. No, I’m serious. You strap it around your waist, a lesbian blows it up like a water wing, & boom, you’re a lesbian. It was reluctantly demonstrated by a real life friend of mine who IS a lesbian, but in the dream she insisted she was not until she put on the LesbiFloat (I can’t make this shit up, people). After doing so, she proclaimed to the crowd, “Je suis une lesbienne!” and they all erupted in applause.

I then noticed out the corner of my eye a disturbance. My “mentor”, who was some nondescript weird Phil Collinsy guy, sent me after a girl, stating she was a human monster like a vampire, but not. I was to kill her before she ruined the LesbiFloat conference.

I chase her through what I guess are the quaint streets of Vermontreal, down steampunk escalators & into home made candy shops. I tracked her down to a house with a creepy little old lady. The lady was clearly scared, but creepy. She pointed me upstairs & I found the creature in the attic. She looked like Hilary Duff, but even scarier.

She lunged at me, hissing like a cat. We went out a tiny window, taking bits of rotting wooden frame & shutter out with us as we tumbled to the ground below. She grabbed a piece of wood & wielded it like a stake. She tried to stab at me, but the Phil Collinsy mentor & creepy lady were next to me, shouting for me to end her. I wrested the stake from her hand, caught her in the neck, then, slick with her blood, drove it up through her rib cage into her aorta. Blood poured out of her and she finally, silently dropped.

She did not go puff like a Buffy vampire. My mentor told me to leave the body for the dogs & go clean my hands off by finding a duck. I found several ducks & played with them in someone’s above ground pool, so I guess the whole point was to lead a vampire hunter to water.

I returned to the lesbian conference by free running over some roof tops. By the time I got there, my friend Amanda had gotten me a smoothie, but it melted. And Eliza Dushku stopped being me & stole all the gluten free candy. Fuck her!

Then I woke up.

Tonight, on the way home from work, I got a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. That’ll show Dream Eliza Dushku Me!