The Raccoondog

It's not very good with words. (But it's trying?)

Game.
TANUKI RAWR
the_raccoondog
I'll try to make this quick because I have things to do.

I think this is the second or third time in a month that I've dreamt about being in some sort of game/contest where 1.) we are being watched (think Hunger Games or Big Brother) and 2.) in all cases it would seem that I, or at least the character representing me in the dream, reluctantly joined said game.

I also can't recall long dreams in detail lately. But that's most likely because I haven't been sleeping well. I keep waking up every hour or two, even when I try to stay in bed.

Here's what I remember from the dream I had just now:

First Sequence: It seemed like a Big Brother set up. I think there were only five of use left - me along with two girls and two boys. There isn't much that I remember from this sequence except that it was night time, and I think we were tasked to decorate the house for an upcoming event. The two girls weren't helping that much. They just sat in front of a computer, searching for something. They stopped and ran when they realized that the camera behind them is watching whatever it is that they're searching for on the computer.

Second Sequence: This is probably the one that has the most impact. I was in this medieval-looking place. Think kingdom. This time I seem to be in a contest sanctioned by the king. There were four of us, or at least four of us left. A man of African-American origin, a blonde man who vaguely reminds me of Prince Charming from Shrek. And a woman. I never saw the woman, but from I heard (or felt) she seemed like a stern warrior of sorts. I imagined her having red hair. There was this sense that we were supposed to be a team, but have our individual tasks.

6a00e54ed0df528833014e8921fb90970d-800wi-1

The sequence started at night. A scroll was sent to us. It described a deal wherein we will be given whatever amount of money we needed for our next task, as long as we sign our names on the scroll. The two men were excited over this, but somehow I was reluctant, so I left and decided to walk around and think things through. As I did I noticed this obscure alley and when I checked it out I suddenly found myself in a labyrinth. I started running around frantically to find my way out. The walls keep changing from something that has Aztec-inspired designs on them to plain brick and mortar. I realized that this place was from one of our previous tasks (specifically, the blonde guy's) and it should have been torn down the moment we completed it. To me this meant that the king isn't upfront with his end of the bargain and so I got more desperate to get out. I finally found the exit and I made a mad dash for it before the walls shifted or something. (Side note: while finding my way in the labyrinth, I saw a small group who were also lost, and as I was making a run for the exit, I saw them again. When I woke up I kind of felt bad for not taking them with me. It's not that I wanted to save myself first or anything, but in the dream it totally didn't cross my mind that I could help them.)

It was morning when I finally got out. I saw the blonde guy who looks like he was preparing for the next task. He was wearing a flashy, gold-plated suit, with gold-plated headgear, and even a big, flamboyant, golden cape. It was so big that it looked like a tent. In any case, I ran up to him and frantically explained that the task he completed wasn't destroyed like promised and there is something terribly wrong with this game. I feel like we shouldn't participate, or accept anything from them until things are explained to us. He seemed way to pleased with his gold to pay attention to me though, and dismissed me as being paranoid. I gave up on him and decided to run and look for the other two participants.

Third Sequence: This time there were only three of us, and this time the other two people I am with are two of my real life friends. We were in this place that looked like a cross between a Greek and a Mayan temple. There were four columns, two on each side of a long hallway. At the end of that hallway were two more columns. Each column has a purple glowing symbol carved on it, and we need to solve the puzzle within those carvings, in order, otherwise the entire temple will collapse. The collapse has already started actually. The temple was already trembling. It was hard enough to stay together and look out for each other and avoid the falling debris, let alone going to each column and solving the puzzles.

I woke up just when were about to talk to each other on what are we going to do.

- - -

I think I actually understand why I have this recurring theme for my dreams lately. It's related to where and how I feel about my current career/work situation (if not my life in general). Maybe I'll try to explain that further next time.

What We Need To Overcome. Maybe.
TANUKI RAWR
the_raccoondog

I've never been patient.

I probably got it from my dad. He probably wouldn't like that I said that. The point is, even as a kid I never was patient. My entire family (hell, even my extended family) can attest to that. It's not that I don't try. It's just that I get, well, impatient.

So when I find myself in a certain phase of my life where all the forces in the world seem to tell me that there's nothing else to do but learn to trust and be patient, you can just imagine my frustration.

I don't know what it is about me - if I have ADHD or I'm just a spoiled brat who wants what she wants when she wants it - but the idea of being told to stay still while you wait for people or for things to unfold AND trust that they will unfold accordingly has a way of messing with my head. Who in their right mind would wish that something, even if it would spell trouble, would happen just so you can spring into action instead of just wait? If you're about as impatient as I am, you probably would.

Don't get me wrong, I do try to be patient, and I'd like to think I have gotten at least a little better at it. But every now and then I'd crack and I would find myself looking for ways to speed things up, or change it - basically poke at it until I get a figurative boulder to the face which would send me crawling back to where I should have stayed to begin with.

Clearly I've always thought patience is one virtue that I will NEVER be good at.

And maybe that's exactly why I need to overcome it.

Maybe that's how it is - how the universe, God, whatever you believe and therefore call it, works. Maybe life's biggest challenges will never be something that we're sure we'll be good at, but something that we're hopelessly terrible at. Otherwise it wouldn't be even called a challenge. And overcoming them will never be easy.

Overcoming our challenges would most likely leave us drained, confused, feeling broken with pieces of ourselves sprawled all over the floor, left for dead. But as one C. Joybell C. eloquently put it, once we reach that point and survive through it (and, unless you literally became pieces on the floor, chances are you will) we can look at ourselves and "see that we're suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before."

Maybe anyway.

For the meantime, it wouldn't hurt if I try to stay still a little longer.


Get the Gorilla Out of the Metal Loaf!
TANUKI RAWR
the_raccoondog
I just woke up from this weird dream, but when I realized it's heavily influenced by how much Guild Wars 2 I've been playing it didn't seem too weird. I think.

In the dream I was running around getting materials for this village/village chief which, I don't know, I think just got devastated by something and is now building itself from scratch. I was at this place that looks like a cross section between a floor of an abandoned mall and one of those fighting arenas in Soul Calibur, trying to get a green goop from a floating vial into this huge-ass tube I was carrying around when an alarm went off. A couple of my friends (who also play GW2) ran past me and told me to run as well but I didn't and before I knew it the floor and the ceiling were closing in and there's this gameshow-like voice from some sort of PA system announcing that for the next minute that area will be [LOST IN TIME].

The moment he said those words the floor and ceiling went from closing in on each other to passing through each other (with me sandwiched between them the entire time) so now the floor's the ceiling and vice versa. When everything settled, it pretty much looked like the same area I was in. It was quiet, but only for a few seconds. I started running around and although the place is a little dark the noise felt like I was in a carnival. I think I didn't get to run around that far because suddenly there's this game blocking my path called [Get the Gorilla Out of the Metal Loaf!] and sure enough there's this giant circular metal loaf thing rolling left to right in front of me with a gorilla and other things stuffed in it. BUT before I could do anything, the game changed and it's now [GET THE BANANA]. At this point I was just standing there being all, "WTAF?" but then this character ran towards me and handed me the banana, which meant I have to run my ass off because the gorilla is now after me.

Still having little idea about what's going on, I turned around and screamed ran. A few steps in, I hit my head on a blunt corner, fell down and when I looked up I was back in the "real" world. The implication was either the "lost in time" minute was done, or I just dreamt the whole phase up.

Then I actually woke up. Woo.

Self-critical.
Painting1
the_raccoondog

"You are your own worst critic."

I never really gave that quote much thought before. It never really resonated with me. But I realized that for the past couple of months I may actually have been my own worst critic.

I feel like I should be having this big "AHA!" moment upon realizing this, but I'm not. If anything I'm a little worried that this would give me an excuse to go easy on myself (again?), which could result in little to no progress. But I do feel that that kind of thinking is flawed too, because there's this huge tendency that I get too hard on myself and I forget to just have fun.

I was told that I should just get rid of the concept of duality - being too hard or too soft - and just--- be. That sounds about right. But it's probably harder than it sounds too.

--- Now I have no idea how to end this post because honestly, before that sudden realization my train of thought was more on how I am not sure about a lot of things in my life right now, but one of the few things I am sure of is that one of the moments when I am most at ease or, for lack of a better term, zen is when I'm painting, when I'm creating something. And there's nothing in my head except for what I'm creating. And maybe the paint fumes. And whatever happens, that fact alone should be enough for me to keep pursuing it.

So, yeah. Here's a raccoon.

raccoon9


To those who have never had suicidal thoughts---
TANUKI RAWR
the_raccoondog
Know that you are fortunate enough to never have had them. Do not act as if you are better than those who do. Do not go about saying how stupid or shallow their reasons are. Trust me, no one thinks this more than they do, and the last thing they need is to hear that from someone who has no idea what it's like to feel trapped in that downward spiral.

They do try to ask for help. They want to ask for help. But it can be difficult, and your judging them - their reasons, their actions - will not make it any easier. If anything it will probably contribute to them completely shutting themselves off from any form of help.

In no way am I trying to defend or glorify the idea of being suicidal. There's a ton of studies about this, especially the nature versus nurture aspect of it and I am not going there. But what I am trying to say here is that sometimes the way people talk about this issue does more harm than they ever really realize.

P.S.
FYI - Depression is contagious.

Thaasophobia
TANUKI RAWR
the_raccoondog

Oh for fuck's sake just how bored am I?

To be honest I hate declaring myself as bored. I think it says more about me than it should. On the other hand, it's kind of making me feel better because it somehow explained my recent tendency to pick on things about my life that as far as I'm concerned are better off left alone. I'd spare you the details, they're not really that interesting.

Well my fingers can't keep up with how much my brain is rambling at the moment, so no matter how much I want to type them up, it's proving to be hard. (But I'm trying anyway. Maybe if I get this out of my head I'll function better.)

And somehow I can't get them to be coherent enough, so if you're reading this I apologize if I seem to jump from one thought to another and possibly have a lot of run-on sentences.

I'm not even supposed to be bored. Although I was once told that boredom isn't really a lack of things to do, but more of a lack of drive or motivation to do things. Something like that. Another reason why I don't like declaring myself as bored. I had about 2, 3 invitations to go out today and I chose to stay at home and hole up in my room. Painting, supposedly, but all I did is watch the rest of Criminal Minds season 1, sketch a bit, and read up on serial killers. I did get my sister to watch a couple of episodes with me. I guess that's when you know I'm really into a show, right? When I force people to watch it. LOL

Spencer Reid - Criminal Minds
But, really, do I have to actually force anyone to watch this lovable dork? Well, fine.


Perhaps at this point I better make it clear that no, I don't regret deciding to stay in. Actually I'm feeling pretty comfortable in my mess of a room right now. Somebody else has got to be able to relate to this, right?

Anyway, yes, painting. I still don't have a middle piece for the exhibit I'll be joining this March. (I don't have enough official details to officially invite you guys right now, but I do hope you can go!) I've got 2/3 down but I'm still lost as to what the hell I should paint for the middle piece. I actually went away a bit from my (supposedly) usual dark and heavy style in favor of a lighter… fluffier, one. Okay maybe fluffy isn't the word for it. Just not dark and scary and potentially nightmare inducing for little kids. My sister said maybe I should go a little dark for the middle piece. I don't know. I do like the idea but it might mess up the theme or point altogether. I'll think about it. Hopefully I'll come up with something soon because I only have a week to finish all of them as I still need to have them framed. And write a short description about them. Aslkhfksjdfs. Why.


A lousy preview of one of the works that will be included in the exhibit. I'll post images of them soon.


Ah, well, I guess I can allow myself to feel bored every once in a while. I'm kind of reminded of this part in Before Sunset, where Celine talks about living in a foreign country with no (english?) TV, internet or whatever else and how bored she was at first. But after she got over her withdrawal from those things, she really enjoyed being by herself, and if I remember correctly even became more productive? (I think she wrote something then? I really can't remember perfectly.) The point is, I kind of can relate to this in a sense that, I feel like if I isolate myself long enough, and try no to give in to the temptation of distractions because I'm "bored" I actually become pretty productive. I guess what I need to master now is to make those bursts of productivity longer and my boredom phases shorter.

Oh, yeah. The entry title. Thaasophobia. It means the irrational fear or dislike of being idle, sitting, bored. No, I don't think I have it. I just googled it.

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn't boring.”
Zelda Fitzgerald


Ahah! That felt a little conceited. But, ee. XP


Pipe Dream
TANUKI RAWR
the_raccoondog
Okay, I know pipe dream means something else. I just... like the way it sounds. (Plus it's going to make sense later on. Trust me.)

I had another dream today. It's about a serial killer. No surprise there. I have been watching season 1 of Criminal Minds since 3 AM. I took a nap around 2 PM and that's when I had the dream. Initially I didn't feel like sharing it because I get why I had it, and I don't find anything significant or worth sharing about it. But then I remembered the last part, and I felt like sharing that.

So there was a (serial) killer in the dream, and at one point he (or she? he wasn't caught in the dream) targeted me. I'm not sure if it's because we were after him, or he just decided to target me. Honestly, there isn't much more I can say about the dream because I didn't really bother remembering it as much. But if scenes and imageries are important in dreams then I guess I can note that the setting was pretty warm, and dusty. The locations change and it actually shifts from day to night unlike my previous dream entry but warm and dusty is pretty much the entire foundation of the dream's setting. The strongest images I can remember are that of a construction site. A hard hat area. And water pipes.

Which brings us to the last part of the dream - In one of the larger water pipes that they dug, they found a body of a girl inside. It looks like she was trying to escape but got stuck in one of the elbows. That's what you call the part of the pipes where they turn, right? The corners? Initial investigation seemed to imply that the girl couldn't or wouldn't have dared escape through the pipes without someone coaching her. So it was either she was taught how to escape through the pipes before she got in, or she was on the phone or some kind of communicator with someone who was teaching her how to navigate the pipes. I woke up after that.

- - - - -

Actually, lately, I've been dreaming almost every single night. Sometimes, even when I just slept for two hours. Which is weird because I read somewhere you weren't suppose to remember your dreams unless you've slept for at least 4 to 6 hours. Anyway, I guess I don't really mind? If anything, it keeps my brain and imagination active. That part I like. I guess I'm just a little worried about this:

“Unfortunately, a superabundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares”
Peter Ustinov

I don't really know who Peter Ustinov is. Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) just quoted him at the start of this episode of Criminal Minds where Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) started having nightmares about their profession. LOL I guess with the way things are, that part just sort of resonated with me.

Oh well. Back to the fray! /o/

Thank you for your time. XD

East Asian Dream
Painting1
the_raccoondog
I think I'll blame Jen for this one. Just because she kept pointing at me yesterday and shouting, "ASIAN! EAST ASIAN!" Hmph.

Anyway, yeah, last night's dream. I'm a little foggy on the details. For most of the dream I felt like I was watching a movie and I kind of lost some of the details trying to keep up with the pacing. I'll just try my best. - ^ - )7

- - - - -

As it says in the title the theme/setting feels very East Asian. Mostly Chinese, or Korean? I'm not sure. It looks like a village with all of those fancy temple looking houses. It was night. You'd get the feel that the dream may have happened in more than one night, but then again it could just be one very long night. In any case it was always nighttime, and the moon was pretty bright. I think there was supposed to be a ritual, which was cancelled (or it failed) about a month back. And they were supposed to do it again, but something went wrong. I don't really know what went wrong, but from what I felt it's like whoever was supposed to do the ritual refused to do it. Of course that caused some kind of conflict - and now there's a disturbance in the village. It's like that point where everyone is just waiting for that one thing to happen and then a battle, a maybe even a war, will begin.


A quick Google image search for old Chinese/Korean period villages gave me this. I think there's a lot more blues and reds in the dream,
and as I said the dream happened during nighttime, but this is pretty close. According to the article this is Yangdong Folk Village in Gyeongju,
Korea, which "preserves the buildings and customs of Korean Life during the Joseon Dynasty."
You can click the photo to go to the article.

Now I don't know how this fits in but in that village, there's this girl. She was about to be married off to this man, but for one reason or another she doesn't really want to do it. It felt like it was more of a duty. And she may have feelings for this other guy, it wasn't very clear. In any case the dream didn't really focus on that because as it turns out that other guy was involved in that entire fiasco with the ritual, and the girl somehow got involved too, because  they needed her to summon her older brother's spirit to help them bring balance/peace back in the village. They managed to summon the spirit, along with a bunch of other spirits. They seem to look like warriors. And so, a battle commenced. Think early morning Chinese shows back when we were kids. Swordfight mixed with sorcery. They won, I think.

By the end of the dream, it felt like whatever the problem is with the village has been dealt with, at least temporarily, but the story isn't finished yet. The warriors and the girl were at this wall, and the warriors (both alive and... not so alive) were crossing over. I think they're supposed to go somewhere and there's a possibility that they won't come back. The girl fears for the guy and gave him her red bead bracelet for protection. But the thing with that bracelet is it only works for the person it was intended to, so when the guy wore it, the thread holding the beads together broke, and the red beads fell on the ground. The girl had another bracelet, a jade one. It seems to be a lot more powerful, but if she gives it to him the girl will be left vulnerable to whatever else could happen. She worries for his life, but she worries for hers as well.

The last scene in the dream: Most of the warriors have already crossed over, The girl's brother and the guy are already at the other side of the wall, but they haven't crossed over yet. They were both looking at the girl, who was perched on the opposite side of the wall, undecided if she should give her bracelet to him or not.  It felt like she needed to decide fast because I guess the wall kind of works like a portal? There was a vortex of some sort behind them and it's kind of sucking them in, and I think they need to get in fast or else it will close, or they'd end up somewhere else instead of where they intended to. I'm not sure. Just that it felt like if she holds them off any longer, something bad will happen.

And then I heard my phone's text message alert tone, and I woke up.

- - - - -

Hm. It's probably not worth mentioning, much, But I actually had the latter part of the dream first, about the girl and the brother and the wall. I woke up after the wall scene, but I fell right back to sleep, and that's when I had the village ritual dream. But it felt like it was a prologue to the previous dream. That's why I mentioned it first.

Also, I think the girl and her brother might be aristocrats, or at least not your common townsfolk. I don't know why. If it helps, I maybe thinking this way because her brother, even though he's a spirit, had a horse. 8D LOL ... Yeaaah, I don't really know much about these things. ;;;;
Tags:

Of Ghibli and Sushi, And Other Heart Wrenching Things
Painting1
the_raccoondog
I just finished watching Howl's Moving Castle, and, well, as Howl said by the end of the movie, "I feel terrible, like there's a weight in my chest" from all these feelings I got, hahaha. Although half if not most of that is the ending song's fault, 世界の約束 (Promise of the World). Here's the instrumental version I found on YouTube. Maybe I should warn you to listen at your own risk.


And as if that wasn't heart-wrenching enough, try listening to that while reading the lyrics:

涙の奥にゆらぐほほえみは
時の始めからの世界の約束
Beyond these tears my flickering smile
Holds the promise of love from the beginning of time

いまは一人でも二人の昨日から今日は生まれきらめく
初めて会った日のように
Even though I'm alone now this day is born aglow with the light of our yesterdays
Like the first time we spoke

思い出のうちにあなたはいない
そよかぜとなって頬に触れてくる
Somehow I lost you among all my memories
You brush past my face softly as the breeze

木漏れ日の午後の別れのあとも
決して終わらない世界の約束
Though we slipped apart like sunlight through the leaves
The promise of love will live on endlessly

いまは一人でも明日は限りない
あなたが教えてくれた夜にひそむやさしさ
Even though I'm alone now my tomorrows are boundless
Like the kindness you showed me hidden in the night

思い出のうちにあなたはいない
せせらぎの歌にこの空の色に
花の香りにいつまでも生きて
Somehow I lost you among all my memories
In a brooke's gentle melody, in the color of the sky
In the scent of a flower, you will live on eternally

--- Yes, I am a sap. Shoo. B( I can't take credit for the translation, although I did take liberty in editing it a tiny bit around the parts that I figured would make more sense, given the kanji. (Of course, I am no expert.)

I ought to get my hands on a copy of the book where the movie's based from. If anyone can point me to the direction of where I can buy this book locally, it would be greatly appreciated! o/

You really have to hand it to Studio Ghibli for finding/making the best songs to end their movies with, among other things. I pretty much felt the same way after rewatching Spirited Away the other week. And because I like to torture myself with painfully beautiful music Here's a string version of いつも何度でも (Always With Me):


Lyrics and translation over here.

There's also Grave of the Fireflies, but let's not go there. I have no desire to needlessly spiral down into depression again. :|

In other movie-watching related news - I finally got around to watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi with Jen yesterday. I HAVE NO WORDS. Well, actually I have a LOT but they're coupled with spazzes and flails that you wouldn't understand me anyway. You can see some of those said spazzing here but I must say, even if you're not a fan of sushi (or food, in which case, WHAT THE HELL?) you should still watch this documentary. Every professional mentioned in it is beyond inspiring, not just Jiro. Five minutes into it and you're already bombarded with thought-provoking quotes. It's not just about Jiro and sushi, really. It's about dedicating your life and yourself not to a job but to a career, a craft, no matter what it is. (Is it obvious why I love this documentary so much?)

Plus Jiro totally looks like a turtle. A lovable master of a turtle. Like Oogwai.
I should be making myself scarce after this. There are things to be done! (I'll fill you guys in with the details when things are more concrete.) Or you know, I might continue my Studio Ghibli marathon with Ponyo... whose theme song is now ringing in my head. Great. ;;;;

Pooonyo Ponyo Ponyo onna no ko~ Manmaru ona kano genko na kooo~

oTL

A Medium for Mediums
Painting1
the_raccoondog
02-06-2013


Yesterday I was browsing the web for gouache - which brands have good reviews, (So far I've narrowed it down to Pebeo, M. Graham, and Schmincke. The one I'm currently using is Royal and Langnickel.) and which local stores sell them. (N-not much. oTL At least the ones with websites.) I've been into gouache lately. I'm not exactly an expert in using it (If anything I feel I kind of suck, but more on that later.) ut I actually like using them. I wish I could go technical on you as to why I prefer them over water colo (since gouache is most often described as opaque water color) ut as I've told a friend earlier it would be like me having to explain why I like designing using a Mac over a PC: I know they seem the same and there doesn't seem to be any difference but there actually is but for the life of me I cannot put them into words properly. oTL

Anyway, remember that Joker/Mad Hatter fanart in my previous post? I've started coloring it. I about 80% done. And, well, it's probably not as plain looking as I think it does. Or maybe it is. I don't know. ANYWAY. I just kind of felt sucky, at one point. Which explains this status message, and that random doodle above. But, it's not like I'm going to ditch the painting or anything. I just wanted to take note of how I... feel. If that makes sense. If anything I'm kind of reminded of this painter. I think it was Paul Gauguin? He supposedly repeated painting a bunch of apples because he felt he's not getting it right, even if no one's seeing what's wrong with them.




Just in case you want to see it. Part of it anyway.

--- And I fell asleep while typing this post so I kind of forgot what else I was planning on rambling about. LMAO I am so sorry. oTL So here, have another digital practice sketch:


02-01-2013
I still need to figure out what I'm doing.

?

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