For the first time in a long time, I had a horror dream that's scary in a general way, in this case it was quite lovecraftian. What I can remember:I was in another city, and squatted some space in a very large house out in the woods for a fairly short visit. The place looked like it was originally just a single-dwelling house, but at some point they had chopped off a good bit of the top of one of the homes and build a new house on top. I had the bottom half. I don't know if the upper half was inhabited, but it looked well maintained (i.e. safe). After doing my business in the city for a few days, barely using the place, I decided to check out the attic, curious as to why they would build a new house on top of the other rather than simply expand the large attic. Stepping up there, it was huge, at least eighty feet wide and possibly a few hundreds of feet deep. Discarded bits of civilisation lay everywhere, from old tricycles to bits of cars, while partially petrified wood bits that looked like they may have been part of the house were here and there. I wandered further and further back, and eventually found what I was looking for - the remains of stairs, actually still ascending upwards. They were pretty wobbly, but I wanted to see if there were middle floors still intact. Some of them were wobbly enough that I began to feel endangered, so I dropped to all fours and continued up. Something about the space felt non-euclidean, as I found myself considerably up in there shortly and the size of the place became apparently even larger. I could dimly see the path go onwards, and I caught glimpses of another floor. Something felt increasingly *wrong*, and I felt a desire not to go further without a source of strong light (and possibly my camera, left elsewhere in town). I hurried downwards, my fears causing me to accelerate with every step, and not feeling right about the part of the house I was using (which some website said was both empty and sometimes used by passers-through), went for a walk in the woods. I ended up in a small tourist area near the highway, trying to survive on the rare walking visitor (there were no good ways to change mode of transit nearby), and walked up to a store where a nice old lady sold me a nice meal for $3. We chatted a bit, and I also met a doctor next door and had some tea. As time went on, she looked at me with a more and more worried look on her face, but said nothing, and I got ready to leave. Stepping a bit back towards the deep woods leading back to home, I heard a sound like a thousand bits of paper being torn, and something vaguely similar to the following was hissed directly into my brain "AND THEY SHALL BE RENDERED, AND THEIR EDIFICES REMOVED FROM THE EARTH". My eyes went upwards, and I saw a tiny bit of paint peeling, but it did not stop there - I could see the wood there begin to crumble continually, and felt the presence of something else there, as if reality itself were being consumed. The world spun, I felt giddy, and I found myself simply pointing and hysterically screaming, "THE END! THE END!". The woman eventually came out, cell-phone nestled between shoulder and ear, got a knowing, sad look, and after finishing her call, came towards me. Time seemed to blur like in a fast-forwarding VCR, and I found myself on something that kept flickering between a stone slab in the midst of darkness and a hospital bed. I dimly recalled that same doctor being in there earlier, and sat up with a jolt, willing the bits of tape and wires on me to scatter, which they did. I quietly slipped out, running through more blurs into the forest. The house came back into sight, and while it was in front of me, in some sense it felt like "down", like I was sliding towards it. The late evening of the forest hinted that it would offer me little help as traction to escape soon, so I ran back towards the highway settlement. I'm not sure I made it - I remember stealing some oatmeal from the doctor's home, and making a "Ssh" symbol to his little daughter who I met while fleeing back out the back.
It was a pretty creepy dream. It's hard to convey though. Apparently while asleep, I must've twisted a lock of my hair together - sometimes I do this while nervous or bored.
Yesterday, I presented some of the data from the experiment I'm wrapping up. I'm not sure if I did that well - there are a number of additional things I'll need to do (and ideally automate) for future presentations. One of the things I actually like about this field is that, in presenting results, there's a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to presenting things better. When I started, I don't think anyone else in my group tossed all their files up on a webpage (instead emailing them to the appropriate people). People are still labelling brain regions in pencil on paper or manually with photoshop (I can probably write a tool to do this automatically), and people didn't really script things much. There's so much low-hanging fruit it's almost daunting - where to start?
My body recently has been telling me to drink lots of white tea. Yum.
I'll end this entry with an amusement - this comic, courtesy Ozy and Millie, an occasionally philosophical webcomic I like, is a pretty decent description of the philosophy of some people I know, people who don't approve of or believe in anything real. Some of them construct an ahistorical glorious past which they can glorify without needing to provide any details, and others simply disapprove of everything. It's interestig to watch.