Rurik, My Viking Character

Here’s the complete backstory to the characters of Olaus Bloodhammer (Odin) and Rurik (me). Here I attempt to explain how Olaus was exiled and how I the Asian became a member of the Viking ranks, and how you as Ragnar met both of us. I used a combination of real factual history, a little bit from the TV show, and my imagination to create hopefully a workable story with endless possibilities for our larp.

larpcostume-collage-beachshots

Ragnar Lothbrok is an ordinary farmer who craves adventure, exploration and bringing back treasures from distant destinations. The raid on Lindisfarne in 793 AD that started the Viking Era occurred over fifty years ago, and Ragnar is determined to continue the Viking tradition of exploration and raiding. Rising to the position of king of what is now the country of Denmark, he has already led expeditions to England, Scotland, Iceland and various points south and east. He is now making plans for his biggest, farthest and most ambitious expedition to date: an expedition to the eastern Mediterranean.

In the early 800’s the kings of Scandinavia began to centralize control and consolidate their powers, thus wiping out the smaller earldoms. Many of the local chieftains and earls were then stripped of their titles and powers, and now they wanted revenge, to take action and do something, to explore and raid. One such earl is Olaus “Bloodhammer” Eyvindsson, earl of Granby, an inland village in Gotaland (Sweden).

Olaus had been exiled from his position as earl not only from political restructuring, but also as a result of his drinking habits and squandering his village’s financial resources. Olaus spends most of his days drinking ale and hitting on shieldmaidens (female warriors), earning him the nickname “The Drunk Lord”.

When Ragnar sent out word that he is looking for crews and warriors for his Mediterranean raid, Olaus Bloodhammer responded with interest and brought a compliment of warriors with him to Kattegat to met Ragnar. Olaus showed up dressed in a flowing fur overcoat and fur covered boots but the most imposing characteristic of his person is his Thor-like mallet. A few other earls and their men arrived in Kattegat to take part in this ambitious journey. All warriors knew of the risks of participating in raids. They knew they could die from disease or in battle, but their code of honor and Valhalla superseded all risks and made them take the step forward. The townsfolk prepared a lavish feast for the newcomers in the Grand Hall.

Formerly the eastern end of the Roman Empire, Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) is now the Byzantine Empire. Its capitol, Constantinople, is said to contain a bounty of wealth and riches and for the Vikings that was simply irresistible. There was also a rumor of a silver rush as silver coins were coming in from China. Ragnar and Olaus and their crews departed in the Spring of 860 AD. Sailing across the Baltic Sea, they entered modern day Poland. There they traveled along the Varangian Trade Route that connects northern Europe to the Black Sea and the Byzantine Empire. The route then takes them to the Dnieper river system that drains into the northwest corner of the Black Sea.

Varangian_routes-w
Map of Vikings’ route to Constantinople

En route, Ragnar’s party stopped at a region on the northern border of the Black Sea called the Rus Khaganate, a region populated by a melting pot of ethnicities including Baltic, Slavic, Finnic, Turkic, Hungarian, and Norse. Here he joined forces with other adventurers, treasure seekers and pirates. The Rus were angry that the Byzantines had constructed a new fortress that restricted one of their trade routes, and so wanted revenge. They were all too happy to partake in Ragnar’s raid. Now his massive raiding party numbered nearly 5000 women and men warriors.

Constantinople (Istanbul) is an important trading center. It is incredibly rich with goods and wares brought in by traders and merchants from China, India, Persia, Europe and North Africa. It was also Europe’s largest city. The Vikings even had a name for it – “Miklagard” (The Great City). Unbeknown to Ragnar, his arrival at Constantinople came at an opportune time. The capitol city was undefended as 20-year-old Emperor Micheal III and his armies were preoccupied with a war with the Arabs.

At sunset on the evening of June 18, 860, the first of 200 longships and vessels landed ashore. They descended upon the city like a swarm of wasps. The Vikings and their new allies, the Rus, pillaged and plundered the churches, monasteries, palaces, emporiums, harbors and the city’s suburbs. They trashed the city. Debris, food items and mutilated bodies littered the streets. Once again, the Men from the North had proven their ferocity, ruthlessness and merciless vengeance on an unsuspecting populace. As always, while the Vikings slaughtered many captives, they took others as slaves. One of these captives is a dark hair guy named Rurik (my character).

When Ragnar came across Rurik, Ragnar was impressed by Rurik’s ability to understand and speak the Vikings’ language. Ragnar ordered that Rurik’s life be spared and be taken in as a slave.

larpcostume-solo-beachshot
On an overcast day off the coast of Northumbria, England, Rurik is about to join Ragnar in a raid on another Saxon monastery. (Actual location: Torrey Pines State Beach. Tourists not included).

As a multi-ethnic Asian orphan from the Far East, Rurik doesn’t have a home, and has no allegiance to any country, ethnicity or nationality. He doesn’t know what his last name is, where he’s from, or who his family is. Could he be a bastard offspring from rural peasants? He is a drifter, a wanderer, a nomad, a traveler. His long flowing locks often attracted onlookers as it was rare to see non-Caucasian men with such long tresses, but that didn’t bother him. At the time of the Vikings’ raid, he was in town hoping to find employment in the Byzantine Army, or to find passage to the west where he hopes to find work as a siege weapons builder. As a traveler, he has been exposed to a number of languages and customs, and this somehow interested Ragnar.

Ragnar wanted to seek out all the information Rurik had about other cultures, perhaps to be used for future raids. During the return trip to Scandinavia, Ragnar had long and interesting talks with Rurik. In time, Ragnar discovered that Rurik has an interest in siege tactics and weapons designing. Back at Kattegat, Ragnar released Rurik from slave status, and turned him into a sort of personal warfare advisor. Rurik began explaining his ideas for a giant armored catapult mounted on a pair of longships, a siege tower where the top level is a shielded lookout room where archers could pick off enemy soldiers as Viking warriors entered the city, where Greek fire could be launched or incendiary grenades thrown from, and a wrecking ball that could knock down enemy walls. Ragnar said we will use all of those in his next campaign – a raid on Paris.

The backstory of our larp seems like it could be a movie! Historically, Ragnar never went to the Black Sea, but the city of Constantinople was besieged in 860 AD. by the Rus Khaganate, which is contemporary with Ragnar’s life. Maybe a few Vikings were in that raid, we’ll never know because no one ever recorded it.  When I researched the emperor at the time of the raid, I learned that he was 20 yo, a drinker, slept with married women and mocked religious ceremonies. I think he can easily hang with 21st century snowboarders. I haven’t gotten as far as the blood brothers thing yet, that will be in some future installment.

larpcostume-collage-axe
The character of Rollo from the TV series Vikings provided ideas for my larp costume. Originally captured as a slave during a Viking raid in Asia Minor, what was then the Byzantine Empire, Rurik was coerced by Ragnar Lothbrok into joining their raiding parties and conquest campaigns.  His weapons include a Viking sword and battle axe. He had to rely mostly on the charity of Ragnar for battle gear.

larpcostume-collage-walk

before-after-paint
Live action role play (LARP) weapons are usually made of foam. I purchased mine from Ebay and Amazon. Straight from the factory they needed paint work and weathering, so I watched Youtube tutorials to learn how to make them look realistic.
fallofbyzantium-vikingship-w
Artist’s rendition of the Vikings arrival at Constantinople in June 860 AD

11.11.16 Donner Party Movie Script

I have started writing a movie script about one of the most famous and tragic events of the American westward migration movement of the 1840’s, the ill-fated Donner Party. No feature length epic-style movie has yet to be made on their story, and I can only guess why: 1) Hollywood’s hesitation towards the subject of cannibalism, and 2) it would be a film making logistical nightmare – too many people, too many children, too many animals in too many different types of topographical settings. Not to mention it’s a complex and lengthy story. My approach is twofold: the story is told by a single multi-dimensional character with problems, issues and weaknesses by which the audience can focus on, thus limiting to events only around her, and secondly, though providing some background, concentrate on only one specific segment of the tragedy (the Forlorn Hope) where we see our main character’s will tested against impossible challenges. With skillful approach to the storytelling paired with some of the latest technology – camera drones and CGI – I believe a movie dedicated to this group of intrepid pioneers may be possible – a movie that is long overdue.

I will be adding more here as I progress with the script.

In this video I take you on a tour of Donner Memorial State Park near Truckee, California

I have a Facebook page where I write extensively about how I intend to address the above issues as well as character biographies, what got me inspired and details about my storyline.

 

FADE IN:

EXT. BEAR RIVER, SIERRA FOOTHILLS – DUSK

Six BODIES lie motionless about a muddy patch of forested land along a RIVER. They are scattered here and there and look dead but in fact they’re alive, though barely. Some have their limbs outstretched as if trying to reach for something; others are in the fetal position. Their extremely tattered clothes reveal their severely emaciated bodies, covered with dried mud and filth, and their feet, swollen and bloody. We then focus on a young woman, MARY ANN GRAVES, 20, her eyes half open.

MARY ANN (V.O.)
I don’t know how long I’ve been
lying here in this miserable muddy
wilderness. With food running low
we left the others at the camp and
climbed the mountain pass in hopes
of getting help.
We left with six day’s provisions
and now it’s been how long who
knows but I think it’s at least
over 30 days out. We traveled so
far and it seems we’ve come so
close but now we can go no
further. (beat) Then I heard the
footsteps, and the voices of
disbelief…

CUT TO:
EXT. RUSTIC CABIN – NIGHT
A bright porch LAMP in the distance appears, gradually
approaching, which we soon see is hanging from the exterior
of a small CABIN.
MARY ANN (V.O.)
And then I remember the warm yellow
glow, getting closer and closer. It
was like a welcoming beacon against
the black backdrop of a dark night.
It was then that I realized that I
would survive this ordeal and my
brothers and sisters had a chance
of being rescued from starvation
and deprivation.
EXT. BUSY STREET 1840’S TOWN – DAY
A bird’s eye view of the town, as people are going about
their business.
MARY ANN (V.O.)
Then word about our rescue and
survival spread among the land
and soon everyone was talking
about the Donner Party tragedy
or the tragedy of the Sierras.
Gossip turned into exaggerated
and sensationalistic stories of
cannibalism, and people called
us names. But we were no
different than any other wagon
company.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. GRAVES’ FAMILY HOMESTEAD – DAY
Rows of Spring crops and groves of trees surround a small
rustic STRUCTURE. A handful of people are working among the
rows of CROPS.
MARY ANN (V.O.)
We started from Marshall County,
Illinois. That’s where I grew up.
Father had built a one-room
cabin for my five sisters, three
brothers and ma and me and a farm
where he grew corn, wheat and
pumpkins. But now he wasn’t getting
good prices for his crops, and he
grew tired of the constant threat
from the Illinois Shakes.
MANIFEST DESTINY was sweeping the
country, and he was itching for an
adventure. So when the EMMIGRANT’S
GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA AND OREGON was
published, describing a lush,
vibrant land of bounty and ample
opportunity, a frontiers man like
my father was enticed.
INSERT
A MONTAGE of wagon trains assembling, en route on the open
plains, views of the California Trail, valleys, snow-covered
MOUNTAINS.
MARY ANN (V.O.)
It would be a perilous journey.
We’d be leaving the Unites States
and entering Indian territory.
Settlements for provisions are
separated by hundreds of miles. The
last one hundred miles of the trip
is the most dangerous part, and
only the healthiest and strongest
should go.
Timing was crucial to ensure safe
passage to the California
territory. We could not leave until
after the Spring rains subside, but
yet we had to make it to the Sierra
Nevada pass by early fall, an
advice that father seemed most
concerned with.
END INSERT
EXT. GRAVES’ FAMILY HOMESTEAD – DAY
MARY ANN, 19, is standing among a patch of tall wild grass.
The Graves’ HOME and a ROAD is seen in the BG. A beautiful
girl resembling actress Daisy Ridley, she has a slender build,
expressive dark eyes and long dark wavy hair like that of
Kristen Stewart’s from Twilight. She has her index FINGER
pointed upwards, and a LADYBUG beetle is walking towards her
fingertip.
MARY ANN
Fly home, little guy.
When it reaches her fingertip, it extends its wings and flies
off into the afternoon breeze.
BILLY (O.S.)
Hey Mary Ann! Emma’s lookin’
for you!
Mary Ann turns around and heads for the road.
CUT TO:
EXT. WATER WELL – DAY
Mary Ann is pumping water into a BUCKET. Standing beside her
is her best friend EMMA, 17, a bright and cheery young girl,
similar in personality to “Amanda” from the movie Taken.
EMMA
These fields have been our
play area for so many years
now. I will hate to see you
leave.
MARY ANN
Remember those mudcakes we
made when we were little? Made
your ma so mad.
EMMA
Remember hiding among the corn
stalks where no one could ever
find us!
MARY ANN
(smiling)
I’m so nervous and excited for
this journey. I don’t see what
got papa goin’ about
California. Travelin’ overland
through Indian lands to a place
not even owned by the U.S.?
They begin walking as Mary Ann carries the filled bucket,
passing under a large SHADY TREE.
EMMA
So Sara finally decided to get
married to Jay?
MARY ANN
Yeah, It was a last minute
thing. Jay’s pa needed him to
stay to tend the orchards and
didn’t want his son going off
to some far off place. Sara
was torn between going with
us and her Jay. When my pa
went to the courthouse to
sign the papers for the land,
Sara and Jay went along and
the JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
married them. They’ve decided
to come with us.
EMMA
I’m so happy for them. And
for you, too.
MARY ANN
My sister so lucky.
EMMA
What do you mean?
MARY ANN
At least she’s got a man. I wish I
had a man too. Do you think I’ll
meet a husband on the trail?
EMMA
Oh I think so. There’ll be
plenty of young hopefuls out
there.
MARY ANN
I wonder what the men are like
in California. Will I find one
who will like me? What if
they’re all taken?
EMMA
You oughtta stop doubting
yourself. Look at you! You’re a
pretty girl! There’ll be plenty of
men out there who’d kill to be with
a pretty girl. You are for sure to
met someone. Just remember keep
your spirits up!
They embrace each other.
MARY ANN
I really hope so.
EMMA
I’ll miss ya.
MARY ANN
I’ll miss ya too.
EXT. GRAVES’ FAMILY HOMESTEAD – DAY
Three covered WAGONS are parked in front of the Graves home.
The Graves family is busy loading household items and
personal belongings into the wagons. FRANKLIN GRAVES, 57,
Mary Ann’s father, a tall lanky hospitable and congenial man
with medium length hair who resembles a Liam Neeson with
messy hair, is securing the oxen to their yokes. JOHN SNYDER,
23, a young man with strikingly handsome good looks who
resembles a rebel James Dean type, is helping him.
Mary Ann and one of her younger brothers, JONATHAN, 7, are
carrying items out of the house and leaving them at the
tailgate of one of the wagons. ELIZABETH GRAVES, 45, Mary
Ann’s mother, also of tall and thin build, is walking in and
out of the house. Emma walks up to them and catches Mary
Ann’s attention.
EMMA
I wanted to come by and say
goodbye.
Emma and Mary Ann walk off to the side.
ELIZABETH
Oh hey Emma!
EMMA
Hello Mrs. Graves!
MARY ANN
We’re finally off into the unknown.

 

 

EMMA

I have something for you, it’s sort
of a goodbye present.
Emma reaches into a pocket a takes out something in her hand, which she keeps from Mary Ann’s view, and extends her closed hand to Mary Ann, palm facing down.
MARY ANN
How nice, what is it?
EMMA
It’s something I wanted you to
have so you can remember our
friendship.
Emma drops the object onto Mary Ann’s palm. Emma retracts her
hand, revealing a small gold-plated LOCKET, attached to a
simple NECKLACE.

MARY ANN
It’s beautiful!
Mary Ann examines the gift. A RED GEM adorns the frontside.
Inside, a small strand of blonde-color HAIR is rolled into
one side, while a dried FLOWER is mounted on the other. She
closes the locket and unclasps the hook. Emma helps her
secure the necklace around her neck. The girls hug each
other.
FRANKLIN
Mary Ann! Go help your ma.
MARY ANN
Yes pa!
Mary Ann kisses Emma with a quick peck on the cheek. She
notices a young man adjusting the ox bow on one of the oxen.
She eyes him very carefully, suspiciously, scrutinizing his
muscular body as it bends and flexes. She’s not quite sure
what to make of him. She approaches the wagon. John notices
her stare.
JOHN
How do you do, ma’am. My
name is John Snyder.
MARY ANN
I’m Mary Ann.
JOHN
Pleasure, ma’am.
John touches his hat.
FRANKLIN
Mary Ann! Get going!
CUT TO:
EXT. GRAVES’ FAMILY HOMESTEAD – DAY
Mary Ann and one of her younger brothers, BILLY, 17, tall for
his age and slender, are loading the final items. Billy sees
a SPIDER on the ground trying to evade their footsteps. Billy
stomps his foot on it.
BILLY
Darn I can’t stand spiders.
MARY ANN
Hey you don’t have to kill it!
BILLY
I wish they’d all die. They’re the
most annoying thing to man.
MARY ANN
They have a right to live too!
BILLY
Nah they don’t!
SUPER: APRIL 14, 1846
The WHEELS of three fully loaded wagons begin rolling. The
Graves cabin disappears into the background as the newly assembled
family wagon TRAIN pulls ahead. The wagons are so
filled with belongings and supplies that almost everyone is
either walking on FOOT or on horseback.
Franklin and Elizabeth are driving the lead wagon, John is in
the second, and JAY FOSDICK, husband of Mary Ann’s older
sister SARA, is in the third.
EXT. PRAIRIE
MARY ANN (V.O.)
We left Stueben Township on April
14, 1846, along with my sister SARA
and her new husband, JAY FOSDICK,
and a teamster named JOHN SNYDER
who pa hired to drive the oxen, for
St. Joe to stock up on provisions
and hopefully met up with other
wagon trains.
EXT. PRAIRIE NORTHERN KANSAS – DUSK
ON SCREEN TEXT: MAY 27
Billy and WILLIAM RITCHIE, 19, are standing on a berm away
from the main campsite, throwing ROCKS at random targets.
BILLY
I think I’ll be an expedition guide
or a blacksmith when I get to
California.

WILLIAM RITCHIE
What makes you say that?
BILLY
I like making things with my hands.
What about you?
WILLIAM RITCHIE
I’m gonna find me a pretty belle.
Your sister Mary Ann ain’t bad
lookin’.
BILLY
I think she’s got a thing for our
teamster, John Snyder. (beat) You
know what I feel like now? I feel
like token some of that fine
nicotiana rustica right now.
WILLIAM RITCHIE
Hey look at what I got.
William Ritchie reaches into a pocket and takes out a little
POUCH.
BILLY
What is it?
WILLIAM RITCHIE
I happen to have some. It’s a
little tobacco I snagged back at St
Joe.
Billy takes out a small flask.
BILLY
Look, what I got. Some of pa’s
whiskey. I was saving it for the
fourth of July. Hey I bet your
tobac I can hit that tree.
WILLIAM RITCHIE
You’re on!
Billy picks up a rock and throws it at the tree. It falls
short.
WILLIAM RITCHIE (CONT’D)
I bet your whiskey I can hit it.
BILLY
Deal!
William Ritchie throws a rock at it which travels a little
further, but still misses the mark. Billy selects another
ROCK and makes another attempt. When it misses the tree, he
picks up one more rock. It is a BLUE AGATE rock. He examines
it for a moment, then decides to pocket it.
BILLY (CONT’D)
Lets forget it. Why don’t we just
share what we got. I think we got
an Indian peace pipe back at camp.
WILLIAM RITCHIE
Yea!
The boys sit down where they’re at and begin taking turns at
sipping from the flask.
TEENAGE GIRL (O.S.)
William Ritchie! You got first
watch tonight!
WILLIAM RITCHIE
Says who!
TEENAGE GIRL (O.S.)
Says pa and Mr. Graves!
WILLIAM RITCHIE
Pa would have to choose me. I’d
better head back to camp and get
the fire ready.
BILLY
I’ll start rounding up the cattle.
EXT. PRAIRIE NORTHERN KANSAS – NIGHT
Billy, standing guard at the perimeter of camp, notices a
grass fire about a half mile away. He did not believe it
would pose a threat. Another young man hastily approaches
Billy from the direction of the fire.
BILLY
Who comes there?
YOUNG MAN
Friend!
BILLY
Friend, advance and give the
countersign!

YOUNG MAN
It’s me, William, and don’t talk so
loud. Haven’t you seen them?
BILLY
Seen what?
WILLIAM RITCHIE
The Indians. They’re setting the
prairie on fire and are going to
surround us and kill us and take
our livestock.
BILLY
Where?
WILLIAM RITCHIE
Why, there, running along the fire.
There are hundreds of them.
Scared and trembling, Billy looks at the fire again and
studies it carefully. He realizes that the Indians are
actually tall weeds bobbing and wavering in the wind,
silhouetted against the flickering flames.
BILLY
Nah, those aren’t Indians. It’s
just the resin weeds in the wind.
WILLIAM RITCHIE
What? You mean it’s just the grass?
Promise not tell the others about
my mistake, will ya?
BILLY
I won’t.
The voices of several men at camp are heard. Two other guards who had seen the imaginary Indians return to camp, warning of the approaching threat. As the panicked men began shouting orders and rushing about, someone calmly says that it’s a false alarm.

 

11.9.16 Ski Resort

I was about to go to work at a ski resort near the town where I lived. It was located on very steep terrain with sharp and pointy peaks, and jagged ridges. It seemed like a midsize locals resort. I went there on or shortly after opening day. I was going to work in their rental shop. It reminded me of the one at Timberline Lodge. I was very excited that I was going to work with some old friends again. On the long outdoor deck that overlooked a steep canyon, there were lots of people gathered, as if waiting for an event to start. Above and away from the deck, several people slid and fell into the steep canyon. I was surprised that there wasn’t much of a reaction from the crowd. I wondered if the people who fell over the cliff were alive or dead.

Along the rural highway to and from the resort, I stopped at a taqueria. It was after sunset. The taqueria was in an old white stucco standalone structure located in the middle of a parking lot that was half asphalt half gravel. Coworkers and friends were hanging around in the parking lot. I talked with some of them. Other similar buildings and trees surrounded the parking lot. It seemed that I have visited this neighborhood in previous dreams.

7.18.11Boutique Gift Store

I went to work at a small boutique store that sold souvenirs/gifts, located in a touristy part of town (in or near a major attraction). It was my first day. The manager was a nerdy-looking guy with short blond curly hair and glasses. There were two coworkers who showed me around and what to do. One was a rocker/metalhead type and the other was a skater. Both wore dark colored skinny jeans. The shop was long and narrow, with one counter and a long wall display of shelves and racks. The store was located in an outdoor mall with the front door going directly to the outside that sort of looked like SanFran or Hollywood blvd.

The owner owned two other business also located in the mall, a larger clothing store and a casual family restaurant. Occasionally, employees would be rotated between these businesses. The mall consisted mostly of a single elongated building, with entrances around the perimeter of the building. The businesses were all connected to a central access way or corridor that ran along the middle of the bulding, and which the public had access to. I went over to the restaurant on the other side of the building to see what it was like. It looked like a combination of a 50’s diner and a modern day bar and grill type place. I went outside the main entrance doors and took a peek at the name of the restaurant. There was a neon sign above the entrance. One of the words I saw on the sign read something like “Wallam.” The outsides of the mall were very different. The boutique store side looked more urban, while the restaurant side looked more suburban.

I had just arrived back from a school field trip with classmates. I was in a country like setting with rolling hills and lots of farmland. Some of us classmates were wandering around, perhaps waiting for the school day to end or for the next class, or a continuation of the trip. I went to explore some of the farmland to see what was growing. It was mostly vines and vegetables.

I opened the door of my apt one afternoon and was surprised to see a pile of parcel-size boxes in the middle of the hallway. A delivery driver guy was walking around dropping off the pkgs to the neighboring individual apts on my floor.  There were two small boxes outside my door. I was surprised bc I wasn’t expecting anything. Both boxes were opened. A strange man walked by, entered my apt, looked around, then quickly left, not answering my question of what he was doing.

7.10.11 Dorm Living

I was living in a campus dormitory, on the first floor. It seemed like I was a new resident. During an evening, I visited Simon living next door. His roommate was a snowboarder chick, who was looking for some snowboarding boots. I happen to have an extra pair laying around which was Mikey’s, which he didn’t need anymore, so I brought it to her to see if she could use them. She and I both took a boot and fixed the lacing.

Dan was my roommate. We lived in a 2-bdrm unit. It was very messy. It seemed like we had just moved in. A bunch of our stuff was scattered all over the place. We were both in the process of organizing. The front door was open but the screen door was locked. Outside there was an enclosed breezeway that led to the outside of the building. There were two nosy mischievous little kids outside that were trying to get our attention. I let them in and showed them around. It seemed like they wanted a certain item, some kind of toy. After they left I continued to unpack/organize stuff in my room. Dan was busy sharpening a bunch of pencils. I found some coins and small pieces of hardware hidden in a secret pocket built into the bed frame.

6.23.11 Mountain Top Shopping Mall

I was at school and immediately next door is a large zoo where I and many other students worked. The area was hilly with lots of dry grass and brush, similar to the area around the wild animal park. I boarded an employee shuttle bus that was going from the school to the zoo with Brianne and one other guy. On the short trip I asked Brianne if she wanted to go snowboarding with me to a resort on the east coast. She thought about it but decided to decline, saying she had some other plans. We got off the bus and separated, going towards our different departments within the zoo.

I walked through an area of the zoo that was covered in a net-like canopy like a bird aviary. It was midday and there many guests and little kids walking around. Several of these aviaries were connected together with door ways. Small cages containing various birds and rodents were stacked along the sides and in the center. Inside one cage on the ground was a big pigeon-like bird the size of a pelican.

In a snowy wintery mountainous area, a friend and I just got off work or school. We were walking through this suburban-like neighborhood located on a rolling hills landscape. There was a mix of big high end homes and old small cottages. There were no sidewalks, and snow covered most of the yards except parts of the street. The streets had lots of potholes and patchwork. The area looked rural except that the houses were rather close together. At an intersection, the friend and I went to the frontyard of a corner property and dug in the snow and started throwing snowballs around. We were having lots of fun, playing in the snow. The house on the property was white color and single level. From one of the bedroom windows, someone inside looked at us then close the blinds. I looked at the friend and we decided to split up, going off in our seperate directions.

I was working at a food court at a shopping mall located at the summit of a mountain, surrounded by a mountain range. It was a touristy place, like  a resort. I was assigned to the kitchen of a pizza restaurant, then to a quick service pizza counter. All the coworkers were classmates. When it wasn’t busy I wandered around the main floor near the food court area. The dry food storage area in the back was messy and there were things scattered around the floor. A few cooks were making pizza. In the dining floor, there were areas for banquets, parties or special events. Most of the food counters/restaurants were connected to one big main kitchen. At the end of the work day I went outside to the parking lot, perhaps to wait for a ride home. The air was clean and refreshing. The sun was low in the horizon.

6.18.11 Rosa

I was on a school field trip to some kind of campus or compound high in the mountains. An entire class was on this trip. We were given a tour. Inside some of the bldgs it looked like a factory or mfg facility.  It was a bright warm sunny day. In a waiting room I asked Matt R where he got his Hawaiian style short sleeve shirt. He said from a little place at the “corner of Delaware and Blaine.” Just before we departed, I went to use to the restroom which was well-lighted from the several big windows. No one else was there.

At roughly the same location, we were at a restaurant or club/bar that was very busy. There was a special daytime event going on where we were required to attend. It was daytime, about mid afternoon. The weather was very warm, like mid summer. The club had an old west style decor on the outside and was located atop a hill in a mountainous area, and had a saloon style entrance. Lots of students were entering and leaving through the main entrance. There was a guy standing at the entrance, making sure that everyone had a valid admission or was associated with the field trip. He was either a guard or a bouncer, but was a student also who was assigned this task. He was about 5-10 in height, had brown hair, and had a very athletic fit tanned body. He looked like an athlete. He wore a tight fitting muscle tee and super short shorts that showed part of his butt. Almost look like something from the 80’s. Rosa came by, looked at his rear, commented how hot his butt was, and jokingly but boldly asked if he wanted to have sex. I laughed, then she left.

I stepped outside the club. I went to the covered front veranda that was made of wood planks. Lots of ppl were either leaving/entering or hanging outside the bldg on this hot day. Another dude, about 5-6 and green eyes, dark hair, wearing a black tank top, came out of the crowd and approached me, extending his hand and touching the right side of my face.

I was in a creative subject/art class on the day we were to take a short quiz. The teacher was a young lady with blonde hair. The quiz was a written test with 5 questions. The first was a complex algebraic math problem. Question #5 was to define the word “staurch” (or something like that). Cristina was in this class, who sat behind me. She was complaining about the quiz to someone sitting nearby.

I was living in the downtown section of a major city. I had parked curbside on a major boulevard near the top of a hill. I was going to class with a girl like Michelle. To get to campus we had to cross a section of downtown. We started out walking at first, then decided to ride the city bus. There were many buses going along the blvd. The route number we needed to take was #830, but it never came. There were many tall bldgs everywhere and freeways were suspended above, creating a sort of canopy above the street level, keeping pedestrians and street traffic in perpetual shade. Some of the tall bldgs seemed like hotel casinos with their flashing neon lights and signs. Parts of the blvd were run down with old decrepit concrete bldgs and overgrown weeds and homeless ppl hanging around. There was some major construction going on in the street, as if the city was putting in a new transit system, like a trolley or train. Busses passed through narrow tunnels, main traffic on other parts of the street.

Michelle and I continued walking towards campus and looked out for our bus number but it never came. We decided to split up; she continued on to school while I returned to where I had parked to see if I can park closer to campus. After passing by a construction area, an old man approached me and wanted me to check out some artwork inside this museum. I went to the glass door but it was locked as the museum was closed. I continued walking uphill and entered a narrow tunnel made mostly of scaffolding and plastic sheeting.  The ground was covered with thick wooden planks. This was the passageway for buses, but there were also no walkways for pedestrians so they had use the narrow tunnel too. Halfway through a bus was coming from the opposite direction so I had to squeeze myself into the plastic to make room for it. Luckily I found a small opening in the plastic.

Further on I approached another construction area. To pass through I had to walk along wooden planks. There were many levels of scaffolding above. There didn’t seem to be anyone around. I looked below. In between the planks I saw pools of muddy water.