Friday, January 09, 2004

in which i am haunted by bob saget

You know you've been spending a lot of time writing weblog posts lately when you miss a day and get e-mails from people asking if you are okay. I am, I am. Yesterday my weblog time was compromised by a combination of (1) getting up reprehensibly late, (2) having to work on these papers that I'm trying to get drafted before the ASA deadline of 1/15, and (3) having a late afternoon and then dinner engagement.

This morning I woke up thinking about dreams. What I was thinking was what a peculiar and amazing and yet so often taken for granted thing dreams are. Like imagine if human beings did not normally dream while they slept, and you were the only one who did. How would you even begin to go about explaining to someone else what went on inside your head as you slept? And, more importantly, what conclusions would you come to about what it meant that you would wake up with the sensation that while you were sleeping you were not actually sleeping but having some kind of alternative line of experience.

I have often thought that it would be interesting to keep a dream journal. I haven't for two reasons: (1) I'm too lazy and undisciplined to keep such a journal going past the third entry and (2) I don't think it would be all that interesting, because I'm not someone who generally believes that dreams have much meaning. My own personal theory of dreams has it be some combination of what-happens-when-trains-of-thought-are-undisciplined-and-undistracted-by-sensory-experience and some-kind-of-sifting-and-winnowing-process-where-your-brain-is-cataloging-and-reorganizing-the-class-of-things-that-have-a-vague-place-in-long-term-memory. I think this because most of the novel elements in any of my dreams seem to be just concatenations of things that I had seen or experienced in the last 24 hours, often incidental things that seem like they got stuck in my long-term memory by mistake and that their insertion into dreams is part of some mysterious process by which my brain is either discarding them or shoving them onto some back shelf of inaccessibility.

So, then, when something unexpected pops up in my dream, I can almost always trace it back to some reason that the element had very recently made its way onto my waking radar of consciousness in one way or another. Doing such game is a popular first-five-minutes-awake pastime of mine. This morning, however, I was trying to figure out why Bob Saget had made a cameo appearance in last night's dream. I have no idea when any kind of image, memory, or reference of Bob Saget had last entered my mind, but it seems like it must have been weeks/months/years ago. Why would Bob Saget ever have occasion to cross someone's mind? But, there he was, Bob Saget, getting one or two lines of dialogue (no recollection of what they were; he was just like an incidental character; I do remember it was Bob Saget playing the role of Bob Saget; I even had to Google "Bob Saget" just now to confirm that Bob Saget was really the person's name since it looked wrong when I typed it). So, given that I feel like I conclude that I didn't have a recent Bob Saget Experience that would explain his dream appearance, I am forced to conclude that his appearance must have some deeper meaning. My subconscious mind must be trying to work through something in which Bob Saget is either literally or, seemingly more likely, figuratively an important character. But what?

I've just looked in several online dream dictionaries, and no entry for Bob Saget Nor are there entries for America's Funniest Home Videos or Full House or, for that matter, John Stamos.

No comments: