dreams dreams and happy schemes

I keep thinking that I already blogged about this dream… but I guess I never did. Instead, I told my friend, Scott, who is convinced that it illustrates some kind of zen spiritual awakening… at least in my subconscious.

The dream goes like this --- I’m inhabiting the body of a surfer-dude like 20 something year old guy. He’s playing video games. The game he’s playing positions you up atop a big hill and you see the world from the perspective of various anime boys. These boys run around and try to dodge these cannonball like things that roll quickly up the hill at you. The second you’re hit by one you inhabit another anime character's body and again try to avoid the big cannonballs.

So, as this 20 something year old dude, I’m playing this game. I keep getting hit by these giant cannonballs and keep getting zapped into another anime boy’s body. Finally, after the last cannonball hits, my lil anime dude sits up and looks around. No more cannonballs.

Then, below him he sees the most amazing thing. It is a stunning view of this radiant city below. Then I, the surfer dude, remark out loud how effing amazing it is that I’ve been playing this for months and have never actually seen that city.
So… maybe I’m entering a chapter in which the cannonballs are going to stop for a moment and I’m going to see that stunning city below.

I also had a crazy messed up dream last night about Jon Stewart. I have dreamt about Jon (first name basis, yes) for eons. Studying The Daily Show, writing about it, and watching it religiously gave me this messed up sense that somehow I was buddies with him. I did meet him a couple of time. I worked for The Daily show in 2000 when they were in Philly covering the RNC and then I saw him again in 2003 when I went to NYC to do interviews with other producers of the show. I had a sweet little 15 minute personal conversation with him in cosi at 36th and Walnut, but that's as intimate as our connection ever really got - at least in "real life."

But my dreams have always been about our being buddies. Tight buddies. Never romantic or sexual – just dreams about us hanging out, joking and talking. Mike used to get such a kick out of these dreams. They were so common that in the morning he would ask if I had had coffee with Jon the previous night and he referred to Jon Stewart as "Danna's friend Jon."

It had been a while since I had dreamt about him, but last night I got the double dose: Jon Stewart AND Stephen Colbert. The Colbert plot was downright depressing. I dreamt that his longtime marriage was over because he had been having an affair with a young production assistant. I told him how disappointed I was and he hung his head in shame.

The Stewart dream plot was a lot whackier.

We were on a city bus. He had groceries. I missed my stop. And then… I pitched an idea about a comedy show. A bad bad idea.

It went like this:

“Ok, Jon, so I know everybody pitches ideas to you and everyone thinks their idea is the best… but this is totally out there and I think you’re going to like it.”

Sly smile and head cocked to one side…”Ok, Danna… go ahead.”

“So, I know it’s a comic cliché to have a Santa Claus who is drunk or like… inappropriate in some way, right? Like Billy Bob Thornton as Santa. Boooring… Been done, right?”

“Yes.” He replies, arms folded.

“But… get this,” I eagerly extend my arms in a dramatic introductory gesture, “Santa is featured as one of those Russian nesting dolls… AND… you ready? He is totally whacky and inappropriate, but NOT cause he’s drunk… it’s because he has a brain tumor!!”

I’m all smiles, eyes wide, awaiting a response from my friend Jon.

Nothing. Crickets.

“Jon,” Do you get it? Santa says stuff like, ‘Kid, get off my lap!… what do you think I am, a donkey? I’m not a donkey. I’m a jackass.’ And it’s FUNNY cause he’s not drunk… he’s got a brain tumor!

I think even my subconscious realized how utterly horrifying this scenario is, cause in my dream Jon just looked at me it shock and then said, “Catch you later, Danna” and got off the bus.

And finally… I have to write about this cause it’s the coolest thing ever.

My friend Heide recently flew USAir with her husband on a weekend trip to Montreal. After returning home, she sadly realized her iPod and all her beloved music was missing. She had left it on the plane! After trying – in vain – to contact the nonexistent USAir Lost n Found, Heide tried to just accept the fact that her fantastic gadget and favorite music was gone gone gone.

However --- hiding on the back of Heide’s iPod was a sticker she had received as a free gift – from StuffBak.com. StuffBak is a company that uses small incentives and the goodness of human beings to facilitate the return of lost items. The “finder” sees a StuffBak.com sticker with info about a reward if found. Stuff Bak handles all the intermediary stuff and the “loser” (no offense, Heide) decides if he/she wants to add more money to the reward once it’s found. Then Stuff Bak gets the two parties in touch with one another and voila: Item is returned and finder gets a happy present of $20 from StuffBak plus whatever additional reward the person wants to offer.

So, a week after losing her iPod, Heide got a call from an employee at StuffBak.com, telling her that a good Samaritan in Indianapolis had found it!

Coolest thing ever.

I think what I love about it is that it incorporates a small financial incentive with the goodness of people to help both parties involved.

My next communication research project is going to examine how StuffBak.com not only rewards both parties in these easily identifiable ways, but also indirectly benefits individuals and society by increasing people's sense of social capital and trust in others.

I’m a dork.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if I put a StuffBak sticker on my youth.

Anonymous said...

I remember a quote from Pierre Omidyar (ebay founder)...something like he always believed that people/society has more good than bad. Ebay was his social experiment to see which force would overcome.


Anonymous said...

Funny, I was watching the daily show and wondering when your brilliance would score you a turn in the guest seat.

dizzlepop said...

I've been reading your blog for a while...I'm happily married(to a man), have a great kid...but I think I love you...LOL! I have always...ALWAYS!...hated to read, ever since grammer school...and, yet, I can't stop reading your writing. I think I have adult ADD, I don't know.

Heide said...

After getting back my ipod, I SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY thought about somehow affixing a StuffBak key chain on my daughter's outfit each morning.