Thursday, February 26, 2015

I think I need therapy

I think I need therapy based on a very disturbing dream I had last night. (No, it wasn't that you didn't buy my book.)

First, I should mention that I’m not a great dancer. You know when clothes get clogged in your washing machine during the rinse cycle and the whole machine shakes so violently you think it’s going to break? That’s me during slow dances.

But back to dreams. They’re supposed to provide you with wish fulfillment. You’re making love to that one unobtainable person you lust after. You’re a superhero and you can fly. You’re at a Cubs World Series game (okay, that’s maybe too crazy). In any event, unconscious desires often get played out in the privacy and safety of dreams (your Democrat friends are not going to kill you because Ann Coulter is your nightly dominatrix).

Anyway, last night I dreamed I was at some party in a ballroom and there was a large dance floor. Very SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. (My dreams do have good art direction, I will say that.)  No one was dancing, but in the dream I thought to myself, “Boy, wouldn’t it be great if I could go out there and bust some moves? Wouldn’t it be cool if I were suddenly Fred Astaire?” I sighed and that was that.

When I woke up I thought, “Hey, I shouldn’t be WISHING to dance in the dream. I should be actually DOING it.” If I can't dance in my own fucking dream then when can I?

How pathetic am I that my fantasy is to wish for something? And that’s when I realized I was in need of professional help.

Now this could just be a by-product of being a writer. I’m used to playing out cool scenarios, but only on the page. Highly paid actors get to do the steamy love scenes I construct – not me. Actors get the big laughs. Actors light up the dance floor.  I get network notes. 

Here's another dream I once had.  This was back in the days I was writing for MASH: I was with Alan Alda and David Ogden Stiers. We were just talking. And then, at one point I stopped them and said, “No, David you say this, and then Alan, you say that.” I was rewriting people’s dialog in my dream. This too is not normal.

I hope to eventually work through these nocturnal issues. I long for the days I can actively play out my fantasies. I’ll let you know if that’s what I wish for in my dreams tonight.


Pat Reeder said...

Thank you for sharing your nocturnal admissions.

(Sorry. Someone had to say it first.)

Carol said...

'only in dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.' - Terry Pratchett

Johnny Walker said...

I once dreamt that I found a pair of gloves that I had lost. I was very disappointed with myself when I woke up. The infinite possibility of dreams... and that's what my mind came up with.

YEKIMI said...

I always have dreams that take place in water (pools, showers, etc.). The shrink said I was meant to be a fish. I said it was probably that I liked having wet dreams.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it qualifies for a friday thing, but I'm wondering what you think of "better call saul" as opposed to how "breaking bad" broke it's early storylines. Even though it's the same writers, they seem to be doing it differently. It seems like there's no real tension like in "bad."

-Little Joe

Johnny Walker said...

@LittleJoe I don't even know if Ken watched BREAKING BAD, let alone if he's watching BETTER CALL SAUL while he's away, but I know what you mean about the lack of a driving force in the latter.

BREAKING BAD had an immediate hook: A downtrodden man fighting to seize control of his life before he dies. BCS by comparison is much more meandering and filled with mysteries that aren't especially gripping or satisfying. (It reminds me of the Gray Matter Technologies storyline from BB -- that never really went anywhere.)

BCS's central thrust is nothing more than how Jimmy McGill becomes Saul Goodman. In other words, how a struggling lawyer trying to make his name, and do good by his family, slowly becomes corrupted shyster lawyer. Hmm. It's hardly BB's "Mr Chips to Scarface" -- and even when he gets there, we know he's essentially going to be the same guy.

It's not been an unpleasant journey so far, by any means, but I've definitely found it less gripping than its predecessor. I keep watching because I am hopeful it will take and turn and start paying off.

I have to wonder if they might have been better making it a procedural, rather than a serialised character piece. Yes it would have felt different to BB, but we all love Saul Goodman as his is, so why not just put him in situations every week that allow him to shine.

Although ideas like that are probably why I'm not Vince Gillian or Peter Gould.

Let's hope it's a slow burn like THE WIRE, and will suddenly become gripping about halfway through.

mmryan314 said...

I woke up one morning, fairly recently, and realized that Cliff Clavin had spent some time with me.My immediate thought was " Why wasn't it Sam?" but I knew to shelve the Cheers videos for a while. When Frank Burns crawls through my bedroom, I`ll move on too.

chuckcd said...

Well, I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming
Sayin' somethin' about a queen
There were children singin' and drummers drummin'
The archer split the tree

Oat Willie said...

I had a dream I was in a long talky animated movie about dreams and I couldn't even get into it stoned.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Although I never thought about her all that much, I once had a sex dream once about Katie Holmes. Soon thereafter, she left Tom Cruise. Coincidence, or something more? Who's to say?

On a different note: I make a special plea to you, when you return, to watch last night's (2/25/15) MODERN FAMILY and to share your reactions with us.

Ken, I hope your journeys are going well, but not so well that you won't have a funny travelogue.

As Mel Blanc used to say, "Bone voyahgee!"

Charles H. Bryan said...

I guess I could have just said "once" once, but once is not enough.

Charles H. Bryan said...

BETTER CALL SAUL: I'm enjoying it, because while there is quite a bit of the same sensibility as BREAKING BAD, it isn't the same show and they're doing some real character building with Saul (within the constraints of a 'prequel'). I'm not eager to compare BCS to BB, just yet; I want to give it at least a full season.

But that fucking Best Actor Emmy had better go to Bob Odenkirk. Comedy AND drama. Hell, give him Best Actress, too. I think he has been in almost every scene of that show so far, since there has not much in the way of B stories.

Cap'n Bob said...

Four words, Ken: Arthur Murray Dance Studio.

Mike McCann said...

Did you ever have a dream where it was time to shoot an episode and either you hadn't written the script or it couldn't be found (lost in a desk; locked in an office to which no one on the production team had a crew)??

B Smith said...

I once dreamt I was on the set during recording a well-known Australian comedian's TV show..upon waking and reflecting, I realised that I had just dreamt 30 minutes of original top notch think I could remember a single bit?

Anonymous said...

Whenever I watch a rerun of Cheers or Big Wave Dave, I jizz all over myself.

Dave Olden said...

I believe dreams are stories. Only the storyteller, main character, and audience are the same person.

Ken, you're a professional storyteller. You craft dreams for a living. This gives you the best skill set to interpret the dream's content.

So, I say: look at this dream with the objectivity of a practiced storyteller.

mmryan314 said...

@Dave Olden- So my very real and still remembered dream about 50 years ago of being in the middle of a mental hospital, in Egypt,chewing gum has some relevance. Think I`ll revisit my life at that point (:

Dave Olden said...

@mmryan314: I think the morning after you had that dream, it was relevant then, but years later? I'd guess not so much.

One thing I forgot to include with my last comment: even though I believe dreams are stories, they certainly don't follow familiar story logic. They have their own.

You may ask, Yeah, but what about David Lynch?

I wouldn't even know where to start with him... :-/

Barry Traylor said...

I so wish all my dreams were good ones, unfortunately once in awhile they are a far cry from good ones.

Rich Shealer said...

I often have dreams where I'm with anther woman, but I stop the action and tell her I'm married.

Then I wake up. Doh!

Richard Rothrock said...

Last year, I dreamed I was at my high school prom, which was cool because I didn't go to my high school prom. I was there with my high school girlfriend and we danced and laughed and drank punch and had a great time.

Then it came time to announce the prom king and queen. And when the winners took the stage, I realized that I was not at my high school prom. I was in CARRIE.

I grabbed my girlfriend's hand and headed straight out the nearest door just as the blood started to pour. Sort of like Bruce Baxter in KING KONG (2005): "Look out, boys. Coming through!"

sunday said...

" Here's another dream I once had. This was back in the days I was writing for MASH: I was with Alan Alda and David Ogden Stiers. We were just talking. And then, at one point I stopped them and said, “No, David you say this, and then Alan, you say that.” I was rewriting people’s dialog in my dream. This too is not normal. "

Gelbart, Alda and Rogers have all said very similar things - in one interview, (I want to say it was for TV Legends) Alda said that even after the scene had been done and printed he and Rogers were still practicing the same scene trying to get it right. I don't think you're alone there :)

Meanwhile, I dream in TV episodes. I get a 'previously on' every night, it usually lasts anywhere from 3-8 episodes, and then I get end credits at the end. Sounds cool, right? Try getting stuck with 30 episodes of a horrible sitcom and you can't change the channel.