This is a geology related dream from two nights ago (morning of 19Dec09). Looks like I've been affected by all the recent online talk of #AGU09 and Wired's beer-meeting article.
I'm at a GSA meeting, sitting near the back of a large room, my pack full of stuff. The room is raised like a small auditorium, with the central speaking area toward the southeast. As I stand there (and sometimes sit on the floor), with people occasionally crowding around, I'm thinking it's a pretty boring meeting - these meetings aren't as interesting as they used to be. At some point, I tell some people, including a younger woman, that they need to move because they've kind of piled themselves around my stuff, blocking what I think is my area. They move, but are a little rude about it, like I shouldn't have my own space, or shouldn't care about people crowding it.
Then I'm getting some stuff out of my pack, or am putting something like a notebook or wallet back in, and I have a hard time getting it all to fit. Several small personal electronic items fall out, including more than one cell phone and my digital camera. I get it all back in place, and then it's time to leave via indoor stairs exiting on the northeast side of the large room. The stairs go down and mostly to the east.
The meeting has beer at the end of the day, and I get in a fairly long line behind two guys who are geologists. The line goes past a lower bar tucked away in a corner on the north wall, where they have Pacific Rim beer. The line for that bar area comes up the stairs in front of us, the stairs we are going down. By the time we get to the Pacific Rim area, we've been in line for a long enough time that we don't want to switch lines; besides, we can't see the end of the Pacific Rim line below us. We descend the stairs on the right, while the people in the Pacific Rim line, mostly guys, ascend the stairs on the left. Their line is moving fairly quickly; ours is moving at an average pace. The entire stair well in front of us is at times taken up by people in the Pacific Rim line; they move aside as I step forward, and I think, in the dream, that it's because I'm a woman.
We get to the bottom of the stairs and arrive at a small counter where the beer for our line is awaiting us. It's draft, of an unrecognizable name or brand, in unusually shaped and fairly brightly colored containers (possibly only the labels are brightly colored, including a bright blue and bright yellow). The beer is marked 0.0 or 0.00 on the bottom, and we realize it's 100% free, unlike the Pacific Rim beer, which would have cost us money. Our beer is a deep golden brown. It tastes pretty good for a free draft beer, so although the Pacific Rim might have been better (maybe), the three of us agree it's good we stayed in our line and got the free beer. We then turn around and go back up the stairs.
At about this point, I realize that the guy in front of me looks like a geologist I know - someone who was mapping with me on a job I had a little more than a year ago. I don't remember if I really know him in the dream, or if he just looks like someone, the way people do at so many meetings. Starting back up the stairs, MOH is behind me; he also has one of the unusual-container, free draft beers. (He apparently just appears in the dream at this point, but it's not out-of-place in the dream, just one of those dream weirdities.)
The guy ahead of me, the one who looks like someone I know, now has a whole raft of draft beers that he's somehow holding in encircling, widespread arms (maybe there is a tray underneath the beers?). These beers are all dark, and they are in regular clear plastic beer glasses. He's taking them up the stairs to some friends of his that weren't in line. He says that the Pacific Rim line - which is now gone and not blocking the stairs, maybe because they ran out of beer* - was as long as it was because other people were also getting beer for their friends. (Maybe he said the line was gone because everyone in it was getting beer for a friend, and so the line was shorter by half than it would have been if everyone getting beer had been in line.) He goes up ahead with his raft of beers.
I follow and come to a place in the stairs where two to four stairsteps are made wider by a large, horizontal metal plate that one has to step across to get from a lower step to the next upper step. I manage this in the dream, something that wouldn't be possible IRL. I ask MOH behind me if he can make it, then say, "Well of course, if I can make it you can, too." [I have short legs compared to his long legs.] Then he starts coughing in a way that wakes me up.
*Pacific Rim Brewery closed in 2007; Big Al's opened in the same building in 2008. Pacific Rim Mining Corporation is alive and well - although some of it's opponents aren't.