Steve K.

This is my brain on LiveJournal.

Breaking From Consumption
Something that's been becoming more clear to me recently is the amount of content consuming I do and how little of it tends to stick in my memory. I'd find myself reading a bunch of interesting articles and research or social commentary only to forget all of it by the end of the day. When I go to recall what I'd looked at over the course of the day, my mind comes up blank. For a long time I'd started to think that I was losing my memory and I'd someday have early onset Alzheimer's or something.

Well, instead of that, I believe it comes down to something all the less scary and yet more convicting. I consume way too much information day after day. There is so much out there: web comics, technology news, world news, local news, blogs, video blogs (yes, I know, "vlogs", but hey, the emphasis), memes, tweets, Facebook posts, shared videos, cat videos, all kinds of video, radio, music, games, television, email, text, phone. That's just some of what we (I) plug into regularly. Sadly, a lot of it is quantity over quality, but I'm not here to defeat the idea that this stuff has its place.

What I am slowly being convicted of...Collapse )

Moving Forward
I haven't openly written a deep thought in well over a year. I haven't written about my wellbeing in nearly two years. I tried to do routine entries (privately) back in 2012, but I really didn't keep up with them very well, nor were they really the entire picture of my life's happenings. Partly I've wanted to stop posting on LiveJournal and start my own thing, which I haven't done. Additionally, I've not felt people listened anymore, or if they listen they are distant and down a road much different than my own, so I feel alone. But I know I'm not alone. I recognize my being on my own in many parts of my life, but I've been slowly learning to rely on Christ for strength and to put aside the idea that being on this path is a problem. But I guess if I were convinced of my direction, then I'd have nobody to stop me but Christ.

I think this lifts up a great concern in me. And I'm listening to some Celtic ambiance music, which makes this feel a bit 'Lord of the Rings'-level concerning; well, more mystical at the least.

I've taken a step into the past, thanks, in part, to my friend Ashley, who pointed out that I have over a decade of history in this blog, and that I was a very different person in my college entries. So I peered back on that past me, and I realized that I don't recognize the old me. I don't even recognize my own writings. How could I have posted some of those entries so publicly and had such distorted views on matters? What person(s) was I complaining about? I don't even remember my qualms of that day. I only remember the big moments and the good people of that day.

But despite what I've gained in understanding and direction, in faith and in spirit, I think I lost something. In some degree, its loss is not all bad because the cynical in me is dying a good deserving death. But I think I've lost passion in the process. A thought here, an observation there, a tip over there, and a dream when I care to make note; that seems to be all that I've produced in writing for the last couple years. I may dream, but I need to dream again. I need to start writing down my hopes again.

I'm not going to keep daily entries like I attempted before. The day to day is often boring, and I'd end up writing hundreds of entires that sound all much the same. Instead, I'm going to write my hopes and my thoughts. Not all of these things will be public for all the world to read. If I left every thought exposed then I'd be a fool, but not doing anything has left me feeling like a blank page. It's quite paradoxical. You'd think that the lack of composition would leave much in mind to write, but it's really left me quite at a loss to know what I've been thinking all this time.

Rather than trust myself to sit down by chance and write out my thoughts all the time, I'm going to set a reminder due each week to write something. Fridays or Saturdays might work given my consistent work schedule, so I'll start there. If I sit down another time during the week (like today), then it will be fulfilled, or perhaps I'll have more to write than what's borne in a day, but at least once a week will suffice as a baseline.

There is very much I should fill in on many subjects, but it grows late and I do need to remain responsible.

I can't guarantee you will see every bit of my writing. Some of it will be public, some only for my friends here on LiveJournal, and some I'd only write to myself privately to draw out my thoughts. Some thoughts I may not let you see because they concern my relationship with you; Don't be alarmed that I have thoughts I hide from you. I'm not here to tell you how to live your own life or to stop you from making your own mistakes. I'm not wise, but I've gained wisdom through my mistakes and my thoughts. If I were to catch all your mistakes for you, what benefit would you have from Christ? And when will you learn things for yourself if I tell you everything you should do?

Sometimes, but not always, others may read some of my thoughts on you, and I trust that by reading these thoughts of mine that I have a confidence with them not to backhand me in what I say. I only share thoughts on people when I'm seeking advice on matters. I trust you'll be understanding and mature, not butting into matters on my own behalf, but being honest and caring in sharing your advice with me so I can make my own decisions.

So, next time I hope to write out a state-of-Steve address to some degree, and I hope to keep a bit more consistent so I will in turn live with intention.

Good day!

Dreams: Criminal Collapse
So this morning I didn't sleep so well because I forgot to take my second blanket out of the dryer to use during the cold night (I was too lazy to go back downstairs, get it, and make the bed).  So naturally I had a bunch of random dreams (the subtracted heat tends to give me more dreams), of which I only remember snippets of two or three.

I first remember observing a certain death row inmate being restrained within his ultra secure cell.  He was being restrained for some kind of prisoner movement.  This guy was considered so dangerous that they had him locked up behind extremely thick Plexiglas, and officers didn't actually enter his cell in order to put the restraints on him.  Instead, he laid down on the ground on his back.  In some fashion, the officers were able to mechanically reach into his cell and place the restraints.  They almost seemed built into the structure of how the prison cell worked.

This prisoner was no easy guy to handle.  His arms were about nine inches thick with muscles.  It was clear that all this guy did while in his cell was exercise.  I should also note that he was a black man, only because it may relate to the other dreams, as though this guy was the storm about to arrive.

As I observed the officers restraining this guy, I had a premonition of sorts that this guy was going to escape from custody during this movement.  And that's all I remember of this dream.

In the second dream, I recall walking toward some kind of arena with a bunch of friends.  The arena entrance was set way back in a field area, with some kind of concrete arches and canopies spread over the main walkway with pillars and gaps where you could step through and out onto the green lawn.

As we approached the first covering, a storm started to come up, and the people I was with were discussing how there was a storm expected.  I looked out and surely there was the blackest of clouds immediately covering over the skies.  I only recall these kinds of dark clouds in other past dreams.  These clouds were worse.

As the clouds approached overhead, they were no longer black, but shimmered glossy gray like they solid water and the blackest clouds at the same time. God's great flood comes to mind.  Now, the torrent of rain and hail begin.  We start to hurry up toward the arena, and some of the concrete around us collapses at its edges.  What we thought were the safe edges of the structures were indeed the most dangerous places to be because these walls and pillars tipped over and crumbled into the ground.

We eventually make it to the arena entrance, and I'm grateful to be alive because I very nearly made some wrong choices in direction that would have crushed me beneath concrete.  And then I remember no more of the dream.

I recall a third dream, but very vaguely.  I remember taking a trip to a remote part of the world, possibly in South America.  And I recall on the return flight home that the plane has some kind of emergency event.  I don't believe it crashes, but there was that possibility.

Dream: Disoriented School and Traveler
So on Sunday I had this two-parter dream.  In the first part of the dream, I am returning to college.  My dorm room is assigned already and apparently the whole place requires key card access.

I arrive at my dorm, which reminds me of my freshman year dorm in college.  Nearly as soon as I reach my dorm, I ditch all my stuff and have to head to a meeting of sorts.

I head toward the academic area, which also requires key card entry, just like the dorms.  I got to my meeting and start heading back to the dorms.  On the way back, I pass through an auditorium, ampetheatre-style, where I find all the teachers are in wet suits and are doing some kind of aerobic stretching exercises.

I see Mrs. Williams, my high school tech teacher, sitting in the back.  We say hello and have a hug.  I'm about to part ways, but she had something else to tell me.  She tells me that she knew I'd come back, and that she was just waiting for someone knowledgeable enough to replace her position.

I tell her...Collapse )

Dream: Christmas Tent Romance
I was taking a nap this evening, and I had this strange dream that seemed a bit like a romance movie with all the fixings of your typical romance.

I'm pretty sure it was much longer than the portion that I recall, but I first remember taking down a giant sleeping tent that could fit an entire wedding party. The tent did have a typical nylon fabric floor to it like any regular sized sleeping tent would have. I was inside the tent removing random little parts of the tent frame that needed to come out.

I recall that the tent was set on a hill with very few trees nearby and tall grass you would typically see near the ocean, but elsewhere short trimmed green grass like a farm field. I don't recall seeing any sandy beach, so perhaps it was set up in a place like Maine or England where there are rocky beaches. And while I was in the tent, the tent caught some wind and floated down to another part of the field where the rest of the tent pieces were being laid out.

There was a lady I was pursuing in this dream, and she asked me some kind of situational question like, "what would you do if someone did X while you weren't paying attention?" I knew that she was looking for an answer out of me because she was testing me. I told her I didn't really know because I'd never been in a situation like that before, so I couldn't imagine how I'd react.

Now I was being very smooth and efficient in removing base pegs, small rods that the tent poles slip into at the base of each section of the tent. In this activity I had one of those out-of-body observe-the-situation events where I was watching myself interact with this lady who had now climbed into the deflated tent that I was working on. I was being played by Tom Cruise, and I can't remember the name of the actress who played by lady interest.

We were soon joined by another adult man who I presumed was my lady's brother, who I believe had an incestuous crush on his sister, but I couldn't really tell. He had curly brown hair that was more like a very thin wig that wouldn't stay on his head. His head was round (obviously), but this wig was somewhat square in shape so it either would slide off or would look all folded and unsightly where the squareness of it met the roundness of his head. His looks reminded me of Ryan Phillippe from the movie Cruel Intentions.

Now the scene switched from being in this tent to being in a very old dark polished wood sitting room with some older gentleman lounging around while we continued what seemed to be a concealment of information from the lady's brother because apparently he was OCD and would know about every little detail that was out of order. We were still in a crouched position at the edge of the room that was formerly the tent.

What we noticed was out of order were the red Christmas candles that were normally set around the room. Instead of being set on tables and shelves, a few seemed to be knocked off things and laying on the floor, or removed from their stands and set on a lower shelf. Everyone in the room was telling everyone else not to say anything until the brother came in the room and immediately noticed what was out of line. The older relatives in the room argued to get some sense into him about there really not being an issue, but he wouldn't listen and insisted on things being just so.

That situation went on for a bit until I woke up.

Dream: City Thunderstorm
I had this odd dream this morning about weather and houses. I was in a house doing something like games with a group of my friends including Stephen, Matt and Gwyn, and Sarah and I'm not sure who else. There was a thunderstorm approaching and I was now trying to get a good position to place my camera to capture it.

Now, we went outside into the yard and took a look toward where the storm was coming from, and we were now in the thick of a city with tall buildings all around. Stephen suggested I go up and take pictures from one of the tower buildings. The first idea was a bank tower, which was all glass sided and looked a bit like a metal obelisk with a pyramid top. That idea was quickly shot down because it was certain that the building guards wouldn't let us go up to the top to take pictures of all things in a bank building.

So we climbed into a really old tank of a car driven by an acquaintance of mine, Dwayne. He had trouble starting the car but eventually did. Then we pulled around the block to get on a main road to travel to a different tower in the city. In addition to myself in the passenger seat and Dwayne driving, Sarah climbed in the seat behind me, and I believe Stephen on the other back seat.

As we got to the intersection on the main street, there were two utility vans that had been in a strange accident where their gas tanks had both collided and were leaking gasoline. One of the vans was hoisted in the air by a large crane while firefighters were attempting to put out a fire in near the gas tank. But the flames weren't going out and the crane managed to drop the van on the ground right in front of where we were stopped. I dived out of the car to try to get away from the van, but it seemed to roll in my direction and I had to keep scurrying away and hoping the van wouldn't explode. The rest of the passengers in our car got out and backed away up the street we came from.

And that's about all I remember before waking up.

Dream: Peaches and Parties
The first thing I recall, I was at a large birthday party at my parents' house and a bunch of kids were out playing soccer in the backyard. There were also adults up on the deck watching or preparing food.

I was playing soccer and one of the girls playing was trying to get the ball away from me, but most of the time I had deliberately given her the ball so I could take it back moments later. Eventually, she took possession of the ball and laid down on it so her back was on the ground, her feet up at her hips, and the ball between her bent knees. We were in the middle of the yard and while she laid there I took the ball back from her and went down field toward the goal. When I was nearing the goal and the other kids on the opposing team, someone, who I could only describe as an old witch in appearance, yelled at me that a timeout was called and she had blown the whistle that was around her neck. I told her I didn't know and that I didn't hear the whistle.

At this point...Collapse )

Dream: Oranges and Bullet Time
This morning I had an interesting dream that makes little sense with my current events.

To start, I was in an art studio. We were making leather basketballs, but it seemed like we were doing plaster of Paris with stripes of leather instead of doing leatherwork. I believe I could identify my cousin among those making these basketballs.

We then walked out of this rather typical high ceiling, tan-colored art room, through a large poorly finished hallway and into an adjacent room. Mind you, these rooms had no doors, just wide openings.

In this adjacent room, there was a basketball hoop set up, and we were testing out our basketballs by shooting some hoops. I seemed to be the most competitive, and also one of the few men doing this.

Now, also in this room, near the hoop, was a large tree that looked like a maple, but had near-ripe oranges on it. A family friend, Kevin, was up the tree on a ladder checking for ripe oranges.

While Kevin did that, I noticed a clump at arm's reach. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that they had large clean holes through them, as if they had been eaten through by an insect.

This analysis quickly gave way to a different conclusion. The tree was now standing outside, and these holes were carved by bullets.

I turned around and was now playing the role of a police partner. My partner had arrested a man after pulling him over. It was dark out, and I was now approaching the vehicle.

I now spotted a bit of movement in the car. It was clear that this second person was hoping that we'd leave with the other guy and not notice them.

I notified my partner of the second person, stuck my gun out and ordered the second person out of the car. They climbed out on the opposing side of the car and stood there. I told him to put his hands in the air, but then noticed he held a gun.

The man told me he had the gun pointed straight at my head. I knew I held a .45 caliber pistol at his head. I ordered him again, but this time he fired his pistol. In a bullet-time scenario, the bullet passes through the two car windows and hit me on the left side in the middle torso. My left hand went to the wound and I could feel it start to bleed at each pulse of my heart.

The man just stood there, and in the same slowed way, I fired a shot at his head which passed to his right and through the hood of his sweater. I fired a second shot which hit him square in the forehead. He feel over dead as I started to collapse on the side of the road.

I then woke up. It was some time past four in the morning, the window was open and a train was passing through the area far off in the distance as the peepers continued their chorus.

Dream: Paralysis Therapy
Had a very strange dream this morning with only my immediate family in it. My parents, my two brothers and I were in it.

For some unknown reason, my younger brother, Matt, was paralyzed in an unusual way. I remember three stages or scenes and three behaviors or responses from us.

In the first stage, or scene, Matt was on the ground and was not able to get up on his own accord. However, it didn't seem like he was completely immobile. My brother, Tom, was on the ground with him with a hand on him in what seemed like a form of therapy. Matt was essentially learning to move forward and backward with his hands. It seemed like his legs could move, but they weren't very effective in doing anything. Tom seemed to be showing a positive attitude of encouragement during this scene. This took place outside somewhere on a very green lawn.

This transitioned to a second scene, or stage, where my father was now disciplining him for his current situation. A part of this scene I saw my mother try to take part in whatever my dad was doing to help Matt, but my dad quickly pushed her back. Then he rolled a bottle of some drink back toward her. The drink was pink with some kind of white syrup settled against the sides like it wasn't fully mixed. This scene also took place outside on a green lawn, plus I noticed old stone walls and rich white buildings at the edges of this rather large yard. It was much larger than our yard, like a manner or estate. I sensed an attitude from my father of anger with himself, as though he blamed himself for something, and there was also one of discipline.

This transitioned to a third stage or scene. In this stage we moved from a lawn to a pool of water. It was now I who was the player in helping Matt. It wasn't my decision to do this swimming therapy, but it was suppose to help. It still seemed like he couldn't use his legs, so I had the idea that some kind of swimming apparatus would allow him to move on his own.

I had this idea, which I voiced, that I could somehow spend my days programming some kind of suit that would let him move around on his own. I also stated that I'd probably be a rich man if I could solve his problem.

We went from this idea to swimming through a rather man-made cave. Some sort of voice was now narrating some kind of calm, soothing words on what we were suppose to believe or think. I swam up to the surface of the water in this very light colored cave. As I surfaced, the voiced narrated us to breath. This therapy, by that, was intended to relax and energize.

After I did breath, I woke up.

I noticed that these three stages and attitudes were very similar to what Matt may have experienced growing up: an early sense of encouragement from Tom, and my not understanding things as a young sibling; an attitude of discipline from my dad, the fear of that discipline, and my mom getting out of the way (dad being the tough parent); and later learning together to swim on our own and make our own decisions.

Dream: Secret Genius Society
So I had this dream this morning that was rather interesting. I don't recall whether I was watching this in a movie, or if I became part of the story part way through.

The first I recall, I was observing a conversation on what looked like a very nicely spaced out ivy league campus. There was a road behind where I was observing and there was a grassy hill that sloped up and to the left where the road led. There were pine trees clumped together to the right and there was an institutional building on top of the hill that would remind you of those old sanatoriums.

Directly where I was observing there was a phone terminal, not a full booth. There was a girl at the phone who had just dialed a number she apparently already know. She was asking a young man in front of her, toward the hill, what the code was.

The young man was explaining how dialing this number and speaking a name would automatically decide the band that would play at a certain high-class private venue. He finally gave her the pass code, she dialed it, and then gave the name of someone, then hung up. That was all there was to the phone activity; just state a name and the associated band would be picked for this venue. This was outside of the normal thinking of everyone else who attended, but wasn't intimately involved in the operation of the venue.

Soon enough, we transitioned to this venue in this very strange movie-like way. I observed the band room very far off and many rooms away from us. We passed through the rooms as if passing through the hallowed out center of a round beige phone speaker. Each wall we passed through transitioned in the same fashion. I'm not really sure how many walls we transitioned through, but it was at least five.

Finally in this room, the announcement of this band was made, and they came out with their instruments. The room itself was kind of dark, with some light still coming in from the tall but few windows to the right side. The walls seemed to be tanned with age, and the dark floor and framing along with the weak light of a chandelier completed the image of this old place.

The band itself made me think what it'd be to take the lyrics and aggression of a band like Rammstein and changed its accompaniment to an indie rock band from Britain. It was absolutely terrible and awkward. The lead singer didn't sing all that much and his skinny, bald bass guitarist shouted his few lyrics out with this stare that would make you think he was on heavy stimulant drugs.

After they finished their song, everyone was kind of cringed back in their seats and not applauding at all. It was as if nobody in the room understood how this band was voted onto the stage this evening. And that is when it became a little obvious that the guy from earlier was probably in trouble for making it obvious that this vote was rigged.

We transitioned from this to the other side of the same room where couches were set around a television and my family as well as Gwyn's family were watching some artsy drama movie. I think the movie was part of my collection, and I had a good opinion of it in my mind, but I knew that some people wouldn't agree with some of the sensualities in it, which were things I generally glazed over.

Now, one of these scenes came up and while most of us were just ignoring the scene, my mom chimed in and started talking about one of my other movies and stated how we'll have to watch it on an open evening because of how long it was. Not a whole lot more was said, but the movie she mentioned was brought to my mind, but I still don't know what its name was.

This shortly transitioned to a commotion behind us. I looked behind and there were rows of white folding chairs set up behind us in this room. The floor was making some strange noises and this man, which I think as the man from the beginning of the dream, was at first sitting in one of the chairs in the middle on the right side of the divide, which would make you think we were in a church service.

The noise came louder and toward him. He got up in a panic and started backing up down the isle and knocking over a few of the chairs until he reached the back wall. He and another person suddenly fell through the floor. I noticed now that the floor was made of these very glossy metallic tiles as if it was a floor that could open up anywhere in the room.

He fell through the floor and was now standing in the large room with 40 foot ceilings that was vastly wide and futuristic in nature. There were now five people huddled together in this large room, and one other person. This person appeared to spend most of his time in this place doing scientific work of some kind. There were two rows of mechanistic work tables parallel each other and down the whole length of this very clean environment. The room was also dimly lit and the walls and equipment had a sheen to it like it was all made of bronze plating. It wasn't yellow like gold or brass, and it wasn't silver, but was like a silvery brown metal color.

The group of five knew this wasn't good and they assumed that someone was going to come out and beat them to death for whatever their crime was. The person who was working there noticed their presence and rushed out of the room to the right side. I was observing the room from high up and at an angle that would associate with the left rear of the upper room looking down and to the right front which faced toward the rear and a little to the right of the vast room below.

The man walked around a corner in the rear right of the huge room and into a side hallway lined with floor-to-ceiling cases with people inside. It might make you think of the think tank in the LEGO movie, but much less LEGO and far more smooth and futuristic. Each of these tube-like cases held a person standing upright but in stasis of some kind.

As the man walked into this chamber, he called out a Doctor something, I couldn't make out the name besides being a doctor. After he called the name twice, the stasis cases slid up a man's height to reveal an additional row that was below the floor until now. A case opened up and this man stepped out with a strange torso that was like squarish chrome rings layered one on top the other.

He stepped out in very stiff robotic movements and in a running stance the whole time. In a few seconds the stasis wore off and he ran out toward the man who called in a very fast smooth sprint. Now his head had changed from what was a human looking head to a more lizard-like head with a long snaking neck and rough, reptile red skin.

He ran out to the other room where these others were all standing in a group. I was now tracking his view as he walked through this huge room toward the others. There were two people who included the young man from the beginning and some very old gentleman both standing on the right of the group. In the middle two young girls stood together. On the left was a middle-aged man who I perceived as the girls' father. This father was spraying a small portable bottle of air freshener toward the two girls.

This genius doctor that the caretaker woke from stasis took great offense at the spray bottle because we were all in a room designed for scientific experiment and the chemicals in the spray bottle could damage some of the equipment in a room like this.

As the doctor got nearer to the group, he spat out and insult at this father saying something like, "there are two kinds of people, and the dim-wits like you are the type to not realize the stupid things they are doing." The father in turn tried to explain how he was just trying to freshen the air in this place. As he stated this, my view panned around and behind the father facing toward the rear of the room and the doctor. I observed in the very rear of this space-ship of a lab this column in the very back that was a massive room-height air scrubber that looked like a waterfall designed especially to purify the air in the room. It was even spraying out moist clean air into this metallic brown environment.

My view panned back further as the doctor essentially face-palmed and then proceeded to press this group of individuals further toward the front of the room and into a corner where he could strangle them out of their stupidity.

As I panned back, we passed by a long table with a bunch of Italian food set out like a pot-luck supper. It was already looking a bit bare from the supper that was going on at the time. I thought to myself that I hadn't eaten any supper yet, but this Italian food is probably cold already, so I'll just wait for the cookie/dessert table to be set out and have dessert instead.

And then I woke up.

I could tell you the wall of geniuses in stasis are probably an influence of The LEGO Movie I recently watched. I can also say there is a supper tonight which probably influence the supper here. Much of my family is going to the supper, which is why they were all together watching a movie (but not Gwyn and her family in reality). I've not much insight into what the rest of the dream speaks toward.


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