Strange dream from last night:
So Kate receives a phone call about some kind of new, but vague technology. After a few questions, she tells them, “you better speak to this guy,” and hands the phone over to me. I listen to their pitch from a company that I could have sworn was Sun Microsystems, but I never actually remember them saying the company name. They talk about some new technology focused around Java and data and possibly the web, but the description is such a vague boilerplate description of “enterprise data solutions” that it could basically describe anything. It ends with an offer for an all-expenses-paid trip to their seminar in Vegas. In real life, lots of little red flags would raise in my head and the phone would get hung up, but dream logic took over so we decided to go.
It started out with something like a video of their technology. It featured “your data” and the many different ways it can be interpreted and searched. There were software modules and this and that and the other thing. “Where does the data come from? Libraries and record storehouses.” At that point, the graphical representation of the bits of data solidified into what appeared to be paper pages, which became books, which became stacks of books that reached the moon, which became shelved books, which became categorized, which became the U.C. Irvine science library. Kate and I kind of looked at each other questioningly, then returned to the movie. More little flags raised in my head. First, it was hard to tell what, exactly, format this “video” was we were watching. It was not a video tape or computer output. It was not on a television or a movie screen. It just kind of was. It was like the video was playing in our heads, allowing us to be totally immersed in it. Also, why the UCI library? Was UCI a big client? Possibly they were a big potential customer this company was trying to woo? Things did not quite add up. Plus, what was it they were promoting, again?
Everyone was broken up into smaller groups, of about ten, for smaller presentation sessions. Kate and I attended one (why they did not split us up, I do not know–it would have been to their advantage). A few discreet questions to other attendees along the way revealed a few odd things. Different people seemed to see different “videos.” For some it was the same one with a different library and possibly other different specifics. For others, it was an entirely different type of technology altogether–maybe Perl or Visual Basic or something.
We got to our smaller group seminar and had a seat, just as the instructor arrives. She is your typical attractive lady, the kind of person who is together enough to give a talk, yet attractive enough to capture the attention of the socially-inept geeks who wonder what it is like to actually kiss a girl (“a booth babe with a memorized script, as it were”). The weird thing about her was her eyes. They were a sort of inhuman shade of green, and a little too “deep” or something. She started to talk about this technology, and more and more pieces of how it works just did not fit together in my mind. At one point, someone else in the room asked a very specific and pointed technical question. “Well, I see you people just don't get it. Let me get _[insert name]_.” I forget the exact female name she used, but she went to the door, called into the hallway, and another person arrived. Much like the first, the seemed to be another hot-marketing-chick type of person, but with green eyes that were even more crazy. She started talking to us, and I picked this as a good opportunity to stare her down. She was doing something unnatural with her eyes, and I thought I could just out alpha her. This proved to be the right choice of action. By the time she was done, there seemed to be several people (like Kate and I) that were still skeptics, a good number of “believers,” and a good number of people who were “broken”–head down and crying, quivering, or shaking. She promised refunds (refunds of what, I do not know) and proceeded to hand out scraps of paper that everyone else seemed to believe were currency or checks or receipts or something.
Everybody is ushered into the next room for the next seminar. At this point, they seem to have total control over a lot of people and can do things like cause important people to jump out the window of this very tall hotel. We do not know how to stop it and want to sneak out and inform the authorities, but cannot. Fortunately, somebody has giant semi trucks with big air bags on top to catch these people as they jump out the window. (I have no idea how they got there).
The conference was over. People were still milling around and the mind-control ladies were going around trying to get money out of people. At this point, Kate and I decide our best course of action would be to run. Run as fast as we can to the hotel lobby and away. We run and they notice. (Duh! Who wouldn't notice two people running from a conference? Why didn't we just walk/sneak out?) A couple of them follow us. They start trying to catch up and grabbing at us, and end up somehow taking our pants! So we are embarrassedly running around a Vegas hotel in shirts and underwear, with these crazy mind-control ladies following us.
We finally reach a point, with a bench or something, where Kate stops and I keep going. I turn around to look and she waves me back. I return to the little rest bench thing. Somebody else is there, too. This is where some masterful plan that we had (which I think probably did not exist until that point in the dream, but was impossible to reconcile with events that had already happened, so was simply accepted as the way things were) came together. I guess we had talked to this dude earlier and he was also skeptical of the whole thing, so he phoned his friend. They both concentrated really hard on trying to look like the other person so they could do a switcheroo and the friend could infiltrate the place using his name. That's why we didn't recognize him–he had the right nametag, but the wrong appearance. His nametag really did say “Tubby” and he was a tall thin guy. (I think this is where my brain was desperately grasping at straws to wrap things up). He also had an extra change of clothes for us. We all walked out and everyone lived happily ever after.
Before that, there was a dream about a cockroach that turned into a little blonde 8 year old boy who lived in my parent's garage. He cried every time you took a picture. I took lots of pictures because I dislike both cockroaches and children. I do not know what he did in the garage all day, but I would sneak in there and take pictures, partly for scientific reasons (because after all, how rare is it for a cockroach to turn into a boy), but mostly just to make him cry. It was like a reverse Metamorphosis, but with more crying.