Keepin' It Real Since 1977

Mostly true stories from then & now

Livin’ the Dream in Cabin 12B July 17, 2012

The awesome girls of cabin 12B.

This past week I took part in my annual tradition of counseling at our Church’s week-long Sr. High Camp. I spent the week exploring my faith and relationship with God, strengthening old friendships, and making new friends. I know I probably shouldn’t play favorites, but there was one person who stood out from the crowd this week.  I never caught her name, but she was a sassy old black woman who only made an appearance at night while one of my campers talked in her sleep. For the sake of this post, I will refer to said sassy, old, black woman as La-a (pronounced ‘LaDasha’ because the “-” don’t be silent.)

I’ve known people to do crazy things in their sleep, but I’ve never experienced anything like this.

Sunday Night:

Campers arrived, we all got settled in and by the time “lights out” came, we tossed and turned and didn’t sleep, so much as rest, which is typical first night of camp stuff.

Monday Night:

By now we actually felt tired and sleep came a lot easier. I remember lying there when a noise jolted me awake. I was pretty sure one of my girls had just said very loudly, “Yah!  I’ll fight you!” At the time I didn’t think much of it but I brought it up at breakfast the next morning.

Me: “I’m pretty sure one of you girls were talking in your sleep. Tori, it sounded like it was coming from you.  You yelled, “Yah!  I’ll fight you.”

Tori didn’t think she had said anything in her sleep and was pretty sure it was someone else, but Cathy, whose bunk was right next to Tori’s bed added, “Yah, I heard that. She also yelled, ‘Come at me, bro’.”  At this point I was intrigued.

Tuesday Night:

We slept outside under the stars. The seven of us, along with my friend Shannon, all huddled our sleeping bags together on a tarp. I slept next to Tori.  It was time to go to bed, but we were telling stories and chatting it up, when she fell asleep. Over the next two hours she would randomly blurt things out. After about 10 minutes, I sent one of my girls back to the cabin to get her notebook, a pen and flashlight. Here are some of the things we heard:

“My head’s bangin’ to what’s bangin’! Turn the music up, I gotta fist pump!” (followed by actually fist pumping in her sleep)

“It’s Michael Jackson time!  Don’t touch me Michael! Get away!  You got a twitch!”

“Fire! Fire! Run, Nanna, Run!  I told you to run, old lady!”

“Get your cow out of here!”

“You ugly!  You so ugly, you a frog face!”

“You need to clip those nails. Don’t you dare touch me, bro! … Okay. French tips, with just a little sparkle.”

“Don’t you dare fart in my frigidaire!”

“No, Bigfoot!  Get away from me!  Your feet are too big!  You gonna crush me!  Bigfoot, you makin’ me hungry with that carrot. You want some salad with that dressing?  Bigfoot, these carrots are good- need more ranch though.  No, Bigfoot!  Don’t kiss me, that’s gross. (followed by little kissy noises) No Bigfoot!  No tongue!”

At this point I woke her up before her dream got PG-13. We talked about what she had said, and she remembered having a nightmare about a fire, but before the conversation could go further, she had passed out again.

Also by this point, I had been scolded several times by the camp directors for having such a noisy group of girls. I told them to park their golf cart and sit by my tarp for 2 minutes:

Tori: “Jerk!  You ugly, bro!  You a frog face!  Bugs!  Bugs!  Itchy!  Scratchy!”…

The golf cart drove away.  It didn’t come back. We continued to write down everything Tori said. We stopped after 5 pages.

Wednesday Night:

Things progressively got worse. On Tuesday, most of the sleep talking was intermittent with a burst of chatter occurring every 4-5 minutes or so. By Wednesday, the chatter became nonstop. If there was a pause in the dialogue, it was filled with wild goat-like laughter and the reputation of the phrases, “You scared! You scared, bro!” or “He dead! He dead, bro! He so dead he farts dust!”

Wednesday night’s sleep talking mostly took place in a night club/ karaoke bar? I say this because there was a lot of dancing and singing involved. Also, La-a does not like it when she’s singing and people try to “fart in her microphone.”

Tori: “I gots to sing, bro! Don’t you fart in my microphone! I gots to sing. I’m a black woman and I gots to sing my soul!  Praise Jesus!”

La-a also had strong feelings about how dumb Britney Spears was, with her shaved head, and felt it was an urgent matter that Beyonce get a booty reduction.

After about 45 minutes of non-stop sleep taking, I woke Tori up and would not let her head touch her pillow until all of us were situated and I had some music playing. This seemed to work. Once the music was going, I didn’t hear a peep out of her.

Thursday Night:

During rest time, Thursday afternoon, I showed Tori some video I had taken of her sleep talking. She too was confused as to why she turned into a sassy, old black woman in her sleep. We tried to get her to do the voice from her sleep talking and she couldn’t do it.

Here is a short clip of what happened Thursday night. I say short because she probably went on for a good 40 minutes.

Friday Night:

Oh, boy! What can I say about Friday’s chatter? For a good part of her rambling, La-a is hosting her own television talk show. Let me preface by saying 1.) My nickname at camp is Bubby- and yes, I make a cameo in her dream.  2.) Tori refers to her bed as her “island” since it is the extra one we had to wedge on the floor.  3.) Previously, Tori had been sleep talking about her runaway pumpkin that was going to smash a cat as it rolled down the hill. 4.) One of Tori’s classes she took this week was “Relationships.” In this class campers talked about anything they wanted that had to do with various types of relationships. I found out later that one camper had mentioned the word “sex” once that day in class and there wasn’t even really a discussion about it. If there had been a discussion, perhaps it would have gone something like this:


Sounds Like Christmas December 1, 2011

Filed under: Awesome Stuff — Melissa Lewis @ 11:23 pm
Tags: , ,

I. Love. Music.  

I REALLY love Christmas music.

Ok, I don’t love Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” I’m not sure why, but when I hear that 3-word intro, “I–‘–ll h-a-aa-ve-ah ba-lue…” it just makes my brain hurt. Possibly the concept of taking so long to spit out three syllables, or… there are many reasons why I don’t like this song.

Also, Wilson Phillips’ “Hey Santa.” Hate it. It reminds me of the awful job I had “working” at Kids R Us when I was in high school. That song played on our store holiday loop and it made my 4 hour shift of standing around talking to my friend Karyn, while doing nothing, almost unbearable. Oh, also, Ertha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” was on that same loop. Not a fan.

Over the years, however, I have come across some pretty awesome Christmas tunes. To celebrate 25 days until Christmas, here are 25 of my favorite holiday tunes… in no particular order.

1. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. My dad would kill me if this one didn’t make the list.

2. “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” by Sufjan Stevens. I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Stevens… listen to this and you will be too.

3. “A Holly, Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives. Who doesn’t love this song? Plus, it makes me think of Home Alone. I never get tired of that movie… “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!” (Update- Roommate has just informed me that “Holly Jolly Christmas” isn’t even in the movie Home Alone. Hmmmm….. oh well)

4. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Jack Johnson. This version is win/win because it  A) Doesn’t include the annoying “like a lightbulb” or “like monopoly” shout outs, and B) has a lovely 2nd verse that totally calls out the other reindeer for the way they mistreated Rudolph. Punks!

5. “Sleigh Ride” by Ella Fitzgerald. I’ve never been on a wintry weather horse-drawn sleigh ride before. I have, however, been pulled around on a sled while my brother ran top speed. The end result usually involved me crashing into a tree. I imagine Ella’s sleigh ride to be a bit more delightful.

6. “New York Christmas” by Rob Thomas. I’ve never been to New York and it’s high time I venture on over there. It’s also on my bucket list to be in Times Square for a New Year’s celebration.

7. “Snowfall” by Ingrid Michaelson. I first heard this song on an episode of Bones. (I find a lot of awesome music via awesome television programming.) I like snow.

8. “Gather Round” by Earth, Wind & Fire. I don’t hear this song enough during the holiday season. It’s fantastic.

9. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Barenaked Ladies & Sarah Mc Lachlan. This could possibly be my #1 holiday favorite. It’s fun, it’s peppy, it’s performed by the Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan…

10. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by John Denver & The Muppets. “Now bring us some piggy pudding?” I love it, plus, singing puppets. Enough said.

11. “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls. I found this gem on a Sounds of the Seasons album  at Target a few years ago. Better days- difficult to wrap, but something everyone would appreciate.

12. “Carol of the Bells” by Bird & the Bee. This is such a great band and I love their cover of this song. I don’t even mind that it gets stuck in my head…and I don’t know all the words… so I have to keep mumbling the same lines and notes over and over again…

13. “Let it Snow” by Frank Sinatra. A classic that never gets old. Plus, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow could possibly equal a snow day from school. Added bonus.

14. “Oh, Holy Night” by Josh Groban (or as the hoity toity at Barnes & Noble once said, in a very poor French accent “Josche Grobahn). This is my favorite Jesus-is-the-reason-for-the-season song. I used to do an interpretive dance to the Mariah Carey version of this song. It was bad. Really, really bad. The dance, not the song.

15. “Wintersong” by Sarah Mc Lachlan. What can I say, the girl can sing. And everyone deserves to be surrounded by love and happiness on Christmas morning.

16. “Until Christmas” by Ashton Allen. I love that he just wants to sleep through everyone’s cranky days, and be woken up in time for Christmas and the holiday spirit that comes with it.

17. “Bizarre Christmas Incident” by Ben Folds. Santa gets his fat butt stuck in the chimney… the emergency responders resort to using Crisco to dislodge him… Maybe don’t sing this one in church.

18. “Maybe This Christmas” by Ron Sexsmith. Maybe this Christmas you’ll send a card to someone you’ve never sent a card to before. Maybe you’ll call that long-lost friend. Maybe you’ll finally respond to one of my tweets… Yes, I’m talking to you @ZacharyLevi.

19. “Donna & Blitzen” by Badly Drawn Boy. The same band that provided the soundtrack to film About a Boy, sing this delightful tune. I’m not sure why I like it, I just know that I do.

20. “Song for a Winter’s Night” by Sarah Mc Lachlan. Yep. She’s on this list again. It’s not her fault she’s amazing.

21. “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews. A Sweet song about a very special baby. That baby’s name was Jesus.

22. “O Come All Ye Faithful” by Jeremy Camp. Just think about what a wonderful world this would be if all babies were greeted by a choir of angels.

23. “Spotlight on Christmas” by Rufus Wainwright. “People love the working man
Who does the best that he can. But, don’t forget all the horses and toys, never could fix the poor little rich boys.” All you need is love. Unconditional love.

24. “Winter Wonderland” by Jason Mraz. One goal for this winter- build a snowman. My first year teaching, I took one of my 6th grade classes outside and taught them how to build a snowman. I think I’m due for another one.

25. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Pete Yorn. This Christmas, be sure to think of those who are less fortunate. Tis the season for giving.

Happy Holidays to you all. If you have a favorite holiday tune, I’d love to hear it. Maybe it will make next year’s top 25.