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    1. No Snow for Sledding (WILD)

      by , 02-05-2017 at 06:00 PM
      Ritual: WTB around 2am. Drank a lot of wine last night, so woke up many times to rehydrate. Just before dawn I felt the slightly anxious insomnia that often helps me get lucid, so I decided to confirm my intention with a little piracetam. For years I've been trying to come up with a good dream mantra/affirmation but never found one that stuck. Since I got lucid in a recent dream from seing the word "awaken" I decided to start with that. I wanted it to be longer and have good rhythm, so I tried "Awaken into (seeing) dream," where the word in parenthesis could be varied with any other two-syllable verb with the emphasis on the first syllable: seeing, hearing, feeling, being, dreaming, etc. I liked the versatility and hoped the variations would help keep my mind active. It seems this mantra was actually successful because it was still going through my mind well after the dream had started, although, curiously, the words had changed (see below).

      WILD, "No Snow for Sledding": The transition was very smooth, and I think the mantra actually served as a good anchor this time. At one point I was inspired to see if I could move my dream limbs, and felt that familiar ambiguity about whether it was dream movement or real movement. I was 65% sure it was dream, so I kept at it until I gently 'flumpfed' in a loose heap right off the bottom of the bed, and then I knew for certain. This dream version of my bedroom was remarkably accurate to WL.

      I was crawling at first, and from that low perspective had a good view of my two cats. They looked a little different—shorter hair I think—but I could still tell them apart. Dream logic made me wonder if I could somehow better communicate with my anxious cat in a dream. I crawled over to her and put my hands on her head, reaching toward her with gentle thoughts and telling her that she didn't need to be so anxious. It didn't work: she bit my hand! After that she went into the hallway where I was surprised to see our older cat chase her, an inversion of their usual relationship. I moved toward them and noticed a third animal, a remarkably lifelike grey squirrel—even more vividly rendered than the two cats. [Source: I had recently remarked to my husband how odd it was that I had never seen any squirrels near our house here, but he said that he had. Then just two days ago I glimpsed a grey squirrel outside.]

      I thought I had better remove the squirrel from the house, so I picked it up by the scruff of the neck—it was so realistic I thought I had better handle it carefully lest I get bitten again. I peered down to it, wondering if it might have anything to say (this being a dream and all), but no, it just twitched its nose like a regular squirrel. So I opened the window on my side of the bed, the place where in WL I toss out the miscellaneous bugs that stray into the house, and tossed it out.

      Around this point I noticed that my mantra was still going through my head, though slightly changed from what it had been as I fell asleep. It had taken the form: "Awaken, dreamer, I am dream." It occurred to me that once I was already lucid, the word "awaken" was no longer useful, and in fact might be detrimental. I thought about how the meaning of the word depended on its context: from non-lucid sleep one can "awaken" into lucidity, but from a state of lucidity, to "awaken" is to wake up. With the precarious thought of waking I felt the dream begin to destabilized, and hastily altered the mantra to: "Dream on, dreamer, I am dream." I managed to restabilize, and with the natural musicality of dream found myself adding a bit of melody to the words.

      After this my thoughts turned to more practical ends. Wasn't there a task I wanted to do? Right, the sled ride. I thought over the details. I would need to sled down from the top of a snowy mountain and then through a crack in the earth into... who knows? Finding out would be the fun part. It was snowy outside, like it is in WL, so I thought that would make a good start. I just needed to go outside and find a sled and a mountain.

      I opened the window again to fly out, but now there was a pane of what felt like transparent plastic covering the opening. I was annoyed because even in WL this is one of the few windows in the house that has no screen, so there should not be anything barring my passing. I decided to shatter the barrier with my mind, concentrated, and... nothing happened. Disappointed that I could not resolve this more stylishly, I manually peeled aside the flexible plastic panel and slipped out onto the lower roof. (This part was not quite accurate to WL: although there is a sloping side of another roof to the left, there is no level area just below the window where one could stand.)

      I willed myself to fly, but nothing happened initially. I kept focusing until I began to float up and across the yard. There were a lot of random pavilions scattered below, and I reminded myself to be observant so I would remember the details later. I flew over to the roof of a small outbuilding—the environment no longer bore any resemblance to WL—where I found two sleds. One was child-sized, the other larger, and I noticed approvingly that they were the old fashioned kind on runners, much easier to control than round saucer sleds.

      I picked up the larger sled and looked it over. The details were wonderfully vivid: it had a painted metal superstructure consisting of thin round bars painted white, and flat wide bars painted green. These encircled a small rectangular seat of heavily aged and distressed wood. I noticed an odd detail in the very center of the sled, a transparent glass sphere about four inches in diameter, half full of water. I peered closer, wondering if it was some sort of gyroscope, and saw words printed on the sphere: "FAST WATER." I decided that this was a device for boosting speed, and that I would name my new sled "Fastwater." I felt very pleased with it.

      Sled in hand, next I needed a mountain. I resumed floating through the air and scanning for suitable topography. I soon found myself approaching a steep hillock, but since it was at most a couple dozen feet high, I didn't think it qualified as a "mountain." After that was a second, taller hillock, but I rejected that one too on the same grounds. Then in the distance I saw a much taller hill with a massive castle on top of it. I had the impression that it was a German castle called "Schwanzstein," though even in the dream I recalled the meaning of schwanz (which, in common with many Americans, I learned long ago from the Mel Brooks film Space Balls). That seemed like a peculiar yet somehow familiar name for a castle, and I wondered why it came to mind. [Source: German castles have come up in conversation twice in the last few days, both the one at Wernigerode and another whose name I couldn't remember. I just asked my husband and he reminded me it was "Neuschwanstein." So there you have it. Sorry Freudians, you can go back home now.]

      I figured that the type of hill on which one was likely to find a German castle could qualify as a small mountain, and decided that this would be a good spot to sled down from. I floated closer, noting a number of stiff and oddly sepia-hued guards standing around the courtyards, as though peopling an old postcard. I noticed a perfect straight chute for sledding that ran down from the top of the mountain, so that's where I landed. Everything was in place... except... there was no snow anymore. Could I just sled down anyway, I wondered? No, I distinctly recalled that the task specified a snowy mountain. I peered around, hoping I could at least spot a few patches of snow and call it even. But the grass was as brown as the guards—there was a hint of sepia about the whole place, like a movie scene shot through a filter—and no snow was visible anywhere.

      I sat down with my sled, willing it to snow. I concentrated my expectations, imagining how the first tiny flakes would move erratically through the air. Once again the distinction between imagination and experience—which seems so improbable in the dream state—was reconfirmed, because even though I could clearly see the type of snow I envisioned in my mind's eye, the dream air remained stubbornly free of flakes. This TOTM has a lot of moving parts, I thought. It's as hard as a TOTY! A moment later I woke up and was amused to recognize my error; in waking life I would not have misremembered the category of the task, since the TOTYs are linked by a common theme.

      Updated 02-05-2017 at 06:12 PM by 34973

      Categories
      lucid , task of the year
    2. Category Error (NLD)

      by , 01-11-2017 at 06:22 PM
      Vague and poorly remembered dreams overall, linked by a pervasive feeling of threat, but in the end I came to an insightful realization.

      In one scene, the garage door was open, and I was with at least one other DC pointing a gun at some cats milling around just outside. I love cats, but I suspected that these might be evil spirits in disguise.

      In another scene, I saw a collection of malevolent dolls outside the front door of a house at night. Their malevolence was limited by the fact that most of them had no arms, except for one shaped like an octopus, which had its full complement of tentacles. That one was almost cute, though. Another doll was especially wicked but consisted of only a head, and I watched as a dog came up and carried it off. "It's just as well," I commented to someone standing nearby. "He was already almost dead."

      In the final and most notable scene, I was holding a door shut against some evil force that was trying to push it open. I was exerting as much strength as I could, hoping to lock the door to better secure it, but I couldn't get it closed tightly enough to fasten the latch. I felt the door beginning to open wider, despite all my efforts, and my anxiety increased... until I suddenly realized that I was making a category error.

      If this was my world, a physical threat, then yes, I would need to try to hold the door with physical force. But I recognized that this was not my world, and in this world, my attempts to push the door closed only gave more power to the threat. To avoid the threat I needed to deny it my strength by denying it my attention, just like in dreams. I did not actually recognize that I was dreaming, only that this was an analogous situation.

      There was a woman standing next to me, so I expressed my thoughts to her and distracted myself by caressing her face and shoulders. The sensuality quickly dissipated the anxiety I had felt about the door, and it ceased to be a threat even though I was no longer holding it closed.

      I was inspired by my realization, and inquired the woman's perspective on it. "So it works because we are aliens here?" I asked her. She replied that some groups held this point of view, but others disagreed, so that my standing in relation to this world remained controversial.
    3. Mirror Lake + Coitus Interruptus (DILDs + FAs)

      by , 03-12-2015 at 07:52 AM
      Ritual: Too tired to work late so WTB 12am, woke 4am to finish work. WBTB at 6:15, woke 7:15am with first DILD.

      DILD, "Mirror Lake": Woke up with fragile recall... as I was getting down notes from the end of the dream, ended up forgetting much of what came before. Thought about it and some scenes came back, but there might be gaps.

      I recall an NLD at my grandma's house involving lots of cats and kittens of all sizes and personalities. I was trying to negotiate conflicts between them and protect the kittens from dogs who seemed on the verge of trying to eat them. I woke at one point (though I now suspect this was an FA) and reflected, oh, those were such obvious dream signs (grandma's house & cats), I should be more attentive.

      Not sure exactly when I became lucid; it might have happened around this point. I recall lying in bed, thinking it was just like my real bed but instinctively aware that I was dreaming. (In retrospect, typically, room and bed were nothing like WL.) I lay on my back staring at the complex patterns that were playing across the ceiling in black and white, complex and shifting geometric abstractions.

      From there the scene changed. I recall the transition clearly, because I found it interesting how I went from lying flat on my back to sitting in a partially reclining chair in a movie theater without ever feeling as though my body had changed position. Corresponding with my new angle of vision, the patterns on the ceiling have now reoriented to become the images on the movie screen, and transformed from abstract to representational. When I was lying in bed I had the impression that my husband was sleeping to my right (odd because in WL he sleeps on my left); now he is sitting on my right in the movie theatre. The rest of the room was empty in the earlier scene, even lacking furniture apart from the bed: the movie theatre, by contrast, is packed with people.

      Having experienced all this so distinctively, especially the odd ambivalence of change/no change in my position, I become curious about my dream body and feel it with my hands. How lifelike is it? I'm impressed with its solidity and the distinct way I can feel the muscles moving under my skin as I twist in my seat. (In retrospect, the muscular movement may have been exaggerated.)

      Even though I'm only touching my side and hip, the attention to my body makes me feel slightly aroused, and I am reminded of the recent forum thread where the OP asked if it was possible to maintain lucidity through orgasm. Certainly, I had replied. Though I've done it before, some years ago, eventually I decided not to get distracted by dream sex so it's been a while. It now occurred to me to see if I could still do it, if only as an exercise in maintaining stability. I hesitated momentarily since I was in such a public place, but shrugged off those concerns—this is my dream, how much more private can you get?—and indeed no one around me notices or reacts as I move my hand discreetly downward.

      All it takes is a few minutes of pressure with my fingers to get myself off. I watch the images on the movie screen to make sure I don't lose focus on the dream. The intensity passes and the dream remains stable. I once again marvel at how easy it is to orgasm in dream compared to the cumbersome efforts required of the physical body. After the movie ends—I don't recall the story at all—I leave the theater. I remember being impressed at how long the dream lasts and how continuous the spaces feel, though in retrospect I don't clearly remember all the ground I covered.

      The next thing I remember is a scene inspired by day residue from work. I talk briefly with colleagues, mostly people that I observe have no correspondence to WL. When I get bored with this and turn to leave, a woman asks, "You're leaving already?" I go out the door carrying a large textbook in one hand. I briefly consider discarding it, but decide to keep it with me for now.

      Beyond the doorway I find myself in the hallway of a university building. It's hard to say if it is dorms or classrooms, but there are lots of flyers and decorations all over the walls. I note the peculiarities of my vision: the environment is really stable, with lots of detail, but everything is a bit dim and out of focus. I'm deciding what to do next and recall the mirror TOTM. There are always public restrooms in hallways like this, and there will undoubtedly be a mirror in the restroom, so I walk down the hallway and look for a likely door.

      I reach a corner where the corridor takes a right turn to the left, so I continue in that direction. After turning the corner, I encounter something unexpected: the hall is much darker here, as if the lights have gone out, and the way forward is block with big stacks of boxes. Interesting... why is the dream trying to stop me from going down this hall? Curious, I levitate and cross the barrier easily—the boxes were only stacked high enough to be an obstacle to someone on foot.

      A voice calls out from the darkness behind the boxes, apparently a guy stationed at a desk there to make sure no one gets past. "You can't go back there," he warns me.

      "Why?" I ask, genuinely wanting to know the answer. The barriers the dream is throwing in my way are becoming more and more intriguing!

      His excuse is really lame and boring: "There are books being deposited."

      "Okay," I respond indifferently. I ignore him and continue to levitate down the hallway. Halfway down I encounter a door on my right. Will the guard pursue me? I have the the impression that he starts to get up from his desk, but I've moved so quickly that I have a big lead already. To further distract and delay him, I throw the big textbook I've been carrying in his direction. Helpfully, this frees up my hands so that I can open the door.

      I have the impression that the door was supposed to be locked, but I bypass it effortlessly. As I twist the knob and push the door open, I can feel the distinct tickle of thick cobwebs brushing my right hand. This gives me a creepy thrill... is there actually some peril here? Why would the dream try to keep me out of this room? Just past the door is a pair of light switches on the wall to my right. I flip them but nothing happens. Typical.

      Although the room is darker than the hall outside, I can still vaguely see. It is unremarkable: just a storeroom with a few boxes stacked here and there. However, one detail draws my attention: it is very thing I was looking for, a mirror! The mirror is large, at least 3x8 feet, and lying flat on the floor in an arbitrary position as though it is merely being stored here. This is great, I can try the TOTM! I've used mirrors as portals before, but they were always vertically aligned. The fact that this mirror is flat on the floor suggests a new way of using it: instead of pushing or walking through, as is natural with vertical mirrors, I should just run over and jump in as though it were a pool of water. I figure it will work as long as I can avoid any doubts or second thoughts.

      I take a running jump and fall into the mirror's surface. My alignment isn't perfect—I end up on my back sinking half into the mirror, half into the floor, but I don't let this bother me. There is a momentary disorientation of unconstructed dream space, then I watch curiously as a new environment begins to coalesce, wondering where I'll find myself.

      It was predictable, really: after thinking about the mirror-portal as a pool of water, that is exactly where I end up. I am floating on my back on the surface of a very calm body of water, like a pond, and I can hear a stream bubbling somewhere nearby. This is actually quite peaceful and relaxing, and I think how nice it would be to float here for a while... but I'm already waking up.

      FA: There is a brief FA where I hear my husband's breathing on my right—still the inverse of our actual positions in WL—and then I wake up for real.

      Interlude: From 7:15 to 8am I wake and write the notes from the last dream, then return to bed. It is hard to fall asleep, taking about half an hour. Everytime I get close to sleep, some unexpected noise wakes me: my husband's alarm clock; a text message; and finally an unrelenting sequence of pounding and clattering at the house next door, as though someone is alternately assembling and destroying a pile of scrap metal.

      Spoiler for Sexual content:

      Updated 03-12-2015 at 07:58 AM by 34973

      Categories
      memorable , lucid , false awakening , task of the month
    4. Pumpkin Innards and Monster Blood (DILD + DEILD)

      by , 10-03-2014 at 05:38 AM
      Ritual: WTB 1am, woke 4:45am. Read, drank spice lassi, 7 minutes SSILD meditation, WBTB 6am. Relaxation, counting, mantra, took probably 30–45 minutes to fall fully asleep. Woke 7:30am with dreams.

      Alchemy: 400mg L-Theanine, 400mg Alpha-GPC 50%, 750mg Aniracetam, taken at end of WBTB.

      Notes: Two days ago I was buying ice cream in RL, and it occurred to me that I should use this as a motivator. "You can't eat any of this ice cream until you have a lucid dream!" I told myself sternly. Then last night I was thinking of eating something else for dessert, and I decided to be even more strict: "In fact, no dessert for you at all until you get lucid!" Given everything else that went into my attempt, including excitement about the brand new TOTMs, I can't estimate to what extent this reward-based strategy was a factor in the successful outcome, but it's worth experimenting with some more. Either I'll have more LDs or I'll eat fewer sweets, so it's a win-win either way!

      I've been working on my mantra, and I'm currently going with variants of "Do we perceive the dream?" When going to sleep while counting I was thinking this on the off-counts, and as the hypnagogic state started to set in, at one point I noticed myself thinking: "Do we believe the skies?" ("Skies" as in the sporting equipment, so the rhyme was preserved.) This was so absurd I had to rouse myself and write it on my notepad!

      By the time I started dreaming, it seemed as though there was a degree of dream-awareness from the start of the sequence, but I don't think it blossomed into full lucidity (with agency) until I remembered my tasks. There was no specific "moment of realization," and yet overall the dream felt much more like a DILD than a WILD, so I'm calling it a DILD.


      DILD: I was standing in a narrow lane, enclosed on both sides by walls and buildings, in a residential area. A woman came out from a nearby house and walked past me, carrying a cat. Two other cats were running after her anxiously, so although their size suggested that they were almost fully grown, I intuited that the they must be the kittens of the cat she was carrying. The cat in her arms had wonderful markings, almost like tiger stripes. One of the ones that followed had a similar coat, a cross between tiger stripes and a Bengal's spots. A few minutes later a third cat came along, also striped.

      I was so taken with looking at the cats that I didn't want to get too far behind, so I followed them and called the young boys that were with me to keep up. One of them was pushing an empty wheelbarrow but soon left off and went to chase after his friend, who had now gone ahead of me. I picked up the wheelbarrow and pushed it along for awhile, but it was of very primitive construction, all wood, even the wheel was just a disk of solid wood, so it was cumbersome. I wondered why I even needed it. I had noticed that one of the other boys who had gone ahead was giving his friend a ride in another wheelbarrow, and figured if I kept pushing mine, one of the boys would likewise ask me if they could ride in it, which would make it even more cumbersome. So I put it down and continued along the path.

      There was a barn to the left, with an open door, and I decided to turn aside and explore it. This meant there would be no way of catching up with the others, but I didn't feel much urgency to do that anymore. The barn was full of old objects, and seemed to be used as storage of some kind. I remembered the TOTM and reasoned that in a rustic place like this it should be easy to find a pumpkin, so I started looking around for one. I climbed a ladder to a ledge which was serving as a shelf for additional objects, and was pleased to find that one of them was a large pumpkin. Everything else was covered with dust, which made me wonder how long the pumpkin had been sitting here. It was probably this concern that made me notice that the pumpkin was looking a bit sagging and rotten, but I recalled that the TOTM instructions didn't specify anything about the condition of the pumpkin, so I figured that it would still work!

      Before I could reach for it, I noticed that it wasn't the only pumpkin: now I saw that there were three more on the shelf within arm's reach, all of them of slightly different hues and shapes. I was glad there was an alternative to reaching into the rotten pumpkin, so I grabbed the one whose appearance I found the most interesting: it was small, squat, and had a faintly bluish tinge. I figured I would start with this one, and if I didn't like the results, I had three more to work with.

      Part of me wanted to just punch my fist into the pumpkin, which would have been faster but less elegant, so I forced myself to take my time and cut it open properly. I produced a knife from somewhere, without really thinking about it, and began sawing a circle around the stem, just as if I were going to begin carving a jack-o-lantern. When I completed the circle I lifted up the top section, revealing the interior of the pumpkin, and reached inside. The pumpkin was small enough that my hand barely fit, and I was groping around in the stringy goop and slimy seeds trying to find something else in there, hoping to encounter something interesting and unanticipated. All I felt were the pumpkin's ordinary innards, though.

      Initially I had left my anticipations open-ended, but now that the dream was coming up empty-handed I tried to seed them with some expectations. Although it was a small pumpkin, there would be plenty of room for a ring. Might there be a ring inside? I squished all the pumpkin innards around in my hand to make sure I wasn't missing anything, but there was nothing there, nothing that wouldn't ordinarily be found in a pumpkin. The only distinguishing feature was that the stringy goop and slimy seeds, despite their very naturalistic texture, had the same bluish tinge as the pumpkin's skin. (I think this might have been day-residue, as last night I had been reading an Amazon review of a set of mala beads beads made in China that complained how the wood had soon developed a weird bluish cast.)

      At that point I decided to give up on the little blue pumpkin and get started on the other three, but inconveniently I woke up. I considered getting up and writing my report, but felt that I was still in a state where it would be possible to DEILD, so I fixed the previous events in mind and let myself drift back into dream.

      DEILD: This time I found myself in a place I recognized: it was the house of my maternal grandmother that I often visited as a young kid. It is a place that often shows up in my dreams. On this occasion, the theme of "blue" seemed to carry over from the last dream, as I noticed that the house now had a beautiful deep blue carpet that looked brand new. "Nice new carpet!" I said loudly, in case anyone was home. My grandmother is long dead but in waking life my uncle lives there now. In the dream, however, the house seemed quiet and empty, and no one responded to my complement.

      I felt very lucid and clear, more so than in the beginning of the last dream, and remembered my standing intention to reflect on my bodily awareness. Sure enough, I could feel the characteristic tingles in my abdomen and especially in my legs that I associate with dreaming. (My hypothesis is that this "tingling" is a product of REM atonia.) I also associate this sensation with the ability to fly in dreams, so I experimentally levitated a bit, and then tried to implant the mental suggestion to be more aware of this body state while dreaming, with the aim of getting lucid more often.

      Returning my attention to the environment, I wondered what task I could try next. I had been interested in the other basic task, drinking blood, but I didn't want to have to go all vampire on anyone who I might happen to encounter in this house, given that this was a place where my own relatives lived. "Perhaps if I look in the refrigerator, there'll be a cup of blood in there," I figured. It seemed a reasonable speculation, but after opening the fridge (which at the time I didn't notice was on the opposite side of the room than it is in RL), I didn't see any likely candidates. What would a cup of blood even look like? And would it still count for the task if it came from the fridge? The instructions didn't specify a source. But the idea of drinking a cup of refrigerated blood was not appealing to me, so I thought I should save this task for a more suitable occasion. I much preferred the idea of drinking it vampire-style, especially if I could get the bonus by drinking it from a supernatural creature.

      Closing the fridge, I wondered what other tasks might be suitable for this environment. I remembered my lucid dare, and that struck me as a perfect idea: when I was little I always used to walk and play in the forest behind this house, so it was the perfect "enchanted" forest in which to go looking for elves. I continued walking through the house and went out the back door.

      The world that greeted me once I stepped outside was startling in its freshness. The colors were deep and rich and luminous, more so than I usually see in dreams, and I was struck by the beauty of my surroundings. There were some distinct differences from RL: in the far distance I could residential areas covered in mist, as though I were looking at a town from the summit of a tall hill. The forest I hoped to find was present, but quite a bit further away than I would have expected. And walking across the grass of the wide lawn that lay before the forest was... a minotaur? I looked again. No, not quite a minotaur... it had the same general lineaments, but the head was that of a horse rather than a bull. Nevertheless, the creature was clearly supernatural, and it reminded me of the blood task again. I didn't want to miss this opportunity, since it was walking right toward me, so I approached the creature.

      I didn't want to just grab the monster and start biting him, since he would surely conclude that I was attacking him and fight back, which could be counter-productive. So I went up to him and asked politely, "Sir, would you mind if I drank some of your blood? I only need a cup." He was at least seven feet tall and surely had plenty of blood to spare, so I didn't see any reason he should refuse. To my consternation, he seemed unsettled by my request and tried to demur. But I didn't want to pass up this opportunity, and figured that I had already met the demands of good sportsmanship by clarifying my intentions, so I grabbed his left arm (I was facing him, so it was the arm to my right), extended my fangs, bit him right in the crook of his elbow, and began to drink. Although he was tense and rigid, he didn't fight back, and I concluded that he must be experiencing that peculiar pleasure that the prey of vampires are often said to feel while being fed upon.

      I paused to look up, gauging the creature's reaction, and was surprised to see that his appearance had changed. His head was thrown back, his eyes closed, but it was the head of an ordinary man now, no longer that of a horse. The task was to drink from a supernatural creature and see how it changed me, but it turned out he was the one that was transforming! I returned to drinking his blood before he could recover his wits and fight me off. However, the blood wasn't coming very quickly. Either I had picked a bad spot where the blood couldn't flow freely or he was still resisting me in some way, perhaps stifling its flow through the tension in his arm, which was still very stiff. I woke up before I had finished drinking, and promptly concluded that I didn't think I hadn't drunk a whole cup's worth, if we're measuring technically by eight ounces. However, it turns out that it is hard to estimate the quantity of blood you're drinking when you're getting it right from someone's arm!

      Updated 10-03-2014 at 06:30 AM by 34973

      Categories
      lucid , memorable , task of the month
    5. Dirty Dishes (wasted DILD)

      by , 08-09-2014 at 02:28 PM
      After some non-lucid sequences in my hotel room, I found myself in the kitchen of my house. I knew I was out of town on a trip, so I felt like I was just checking in. However things were a mess, even I knew the catsitter had been coming. There were lots of bowls of food out but they looked old and uncleaned, and the water was dirty. I went over to the sink to start washing them and I noticed that the sink was already full of dirty dishes. However, I distinctly remembered that I had done all the dishes before leaving on my trip. "Does this mean I'm lucid?" I thought to myself, and decided, "Of course, certainly," and felt that I had been aware that I had been dreaming all along even though I evidently had not been until I noticed the discontinuity. (In one of the earlier sequences I had been confusing about whether I was awake or dreaming to the point where I felt convinced that dream events were impinging in impossible ways on waking life.) I wondered if there were other discontinuities and looked around. I noticed that the catsitter had not taken the check I left for her, and that seemed odd. Wouldn't she have taken it on the first visit? However, I realized that this wasn't necessarily a discontinuity, because there might have been plausible reasons for her to have left it until later.

      I started washing a dirty bowl at the sink, one that the cats could use, but then I reflected, "If I'm lucid, maybe I should go do something else. I know! I'm in my kitchen, it would be a great opportunity to go outside and leave a trail of breadcrumbs to try to do the Hansel and Gretel task. But first I'll just wash this bowl and leave some fresh food and water for the kitties." So I stayed at the sink and continued washing the bowl, and also washed and refilled a water bowl.

      Even though the dream felt very stable to start, I was a bit paranoid that it wouldn't last long enough to let me get to my more interesting task, and I felt like this anxiety about waking was pushing me closer to actually doing so, and tried to put it out of mind. However, I soon felt my senses disengage and half-woke. But I didn't lose the mental image, and after a moment felt my senses re-engage and knew I was back in the dream. So I rushed to get a can of catfood and put it in the bowl I had now cleaned. A dream version of one cat came out and didn't seem interested in the food I had selected, though I figured, maybe this is a good thing, because if the catsitter feeds her food she likes better, the cat (who is very skittish) might feel more friendly to her. Just as I had finished this and was ready to start on my new task, I woke up again, and though I held very still, the dream state was too disrupted to re-enter.

      I was a bit annoyed with myself for wasting a lucid opportunity, but I understood my rationale. Even though I knew I was dreaming, I was not comfortable with the idea of leaving my dream-cats ill-tended, so that took priority over any other task. However, the error I made was in tending to them using the tedious methods of waking life: actually standing at the sink and washing bowls, actually going to another room to get the food and walking back with it, opening the can and using a spoon to empty the food into the bowl. I guess I did it this way out of habit, as it certainly felt like I was going through very familiar motions. I should have just manifested some clean food and water and then gotten to my task much more quickly.

      Updated 08-10-2014 at 03:31 PM by 34973

      Categories
      lucid , dream fragment , task of the year
    6. Foreign Words

      by , 08-03-2014 at 06:24 PM
      Ritual: Went to bed 1am, woke at 2, too early to do anything, woke again at 5:40 with fresh NLD, so forced myself to get up and do a proper WBTB. Returned to bed at 6:15, did hybrid of SSILD and counting, but kept getting disturbed by environmental factors. Hard to sleep, eventually dozed off without awareness, finally woke at 7:20 and declared it a failed attempt. I could still squeeze in another hour of sleep though so I figured I'd just try FILD as a last resort.

      After this things get confusing. My best guess is that I did FILD, then fell asleep and into a NLD, then... I woke up, or thought I did (might have been an FA), and did FILD again (possibly in the dream state). Then I noticed that my arm was lying free on the bed rather than tucked under my pillow as usual, so I thought, "Fine, I'll do the stupid nose pinch RC," and what do you know, I could breathe! So I knew I was dreaming, but I was very perplexed. I had just been doing FILD and hadn't observed any kind of transition or even a momentary lapse of awareness in which the transition could have occurred. How could I have fallen asleep and not realized it? In retrospect, I really do think that this started as an FA that I mistook for a real waking, so I did FILD without realizing that I was already dreaming. Hey, whatever works.

      So I sat up, and immediately became more perplexed. I was in a bed, but it was not the one I had gone to sleep in, and the bedroom also bore no resemblance to mine in RL. I got up and started looking around, but then I realized that I recognized the place after all: hadn't I been having a non-lucid dream here, just before I woke up and tried that FILD attempt? (This also argues for the FILD-during-FA hypothesis, and it wouldn't be the first time I've had a "WILD" that was initiated from within an ongoing dream—a DIWILD?)

      This is hard to confirm because I always have a hard time putting dream events in their proper sequence, but there were events I remembered taking place in this building that don't seem lucid and don't fit into my memory of the lucid episode, so I think that must be what happened. That is, all the previous events took place downstairs, but the entire lucid sequence took place upstairs in what I took to be the same house.


      NLD: Earlier when I was downstairs, there had been some complicated narrative I don't recall, but it resulted in me opening the front door several times to let cats into the house. At one point there was a really big one, an orange tabby, both large-bodied and very plump. When I saw him sitting on the doorstep I thought he was the biggest cat I'd ever seen, and I invited him in and closed the door. But there had been two or three other orange tabbies of normal size sitting with him, so I relented and opened the door again to let them in too. "Okay, fine, we'll just let them all in." I knew we didn't have room for them all, but figured it wouldn't be fair to turn them away after I'd already let in others. We could sort it out later.

      After this I stood in the entry and watched the extra-big cat ambling away down the hall. Now it was even larger than it had seemed at first, with a lean, bony frame that was not at all cat-like. In fact, I thought I recognized what it was, and said to someone standing nearby, "That cat looks an awful lot like a moose. You know, I think it might actually be just a moose with no horns." Only it was still orange, which seemed a very odd color for a moose.

      DIWILD: So apparently this all happened earlier, before the FILD attempt, and afterwards I was convinced I was still in the same house. In the wall facing the end of the bed was a doorway to another room, and when I went inside, I encountered someone that I immediately recognized as the moose-cat from earlier, although now he was a human-looking man with orange hair. I was still curious, so I asked him, "Are you a cat or a moose?"

      "I have three types of glands," he answered, and I had the impression he was suggesting that he was both, and something more besides, a protean type of creature.

      The two of us sat down on the couch, and for a moment my dream libido took over, and I started making out with him. But as things got more intense I recognized that this was a distraction and would accomplish nothing useful. Didn't I have tasks to do? I remembered that last night I had been on DV looking over the monthly tasks for August, and there had been one that I particularly wanted to try out. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. So I disentangled myself from moose-cat-man's embrace and said firmly, "Tell me a word in a foreign language."

      It was hard to make out what he said at first. It sounded like "Arab mormon."

      "What?" I wasn't sure if I had heard him correctly.

      This time he distinctly just said, "Mormon."

      It didn't sound like a word in a foreign language, but whatever. Run with it. "Alright, now tell me what it means."

      "A married man."

      I wasn't very satisfied with this result and wanted to try again. Another DC was in this room, sitting on another small couch further along the same wall, so I went and sat down next to him. This time I made sure my instructions were more explicit from the start: "I want you to tell me a word in a foreign language, and then tell me what it means."

      "Sprenn," he said promptly.

      "Spread?" I repeated what I had thought I heard at first.

      "Sprenn," he clarified, and helpfully spelled it for me. "S-P-R-E-N-N."

      "Okay, what does it mean?"

      At this he smiled coyly, as if embarrassed. "I'll... tell you later."

      I had the impression it must be a word for something naughty, but I needed to find out. "Please?" I wheedled. He shook his head.

      I decided to be more forceful. "Come on, you have to tell me!" I tried to think of how to back this up, and added, "It's my homework assignment."

      He tried to explain in a roundabout way: "It has to do with the city of Myrkbalik, and the laws of Garibaldi."

      The two names he mentioned sounded complicated, so I wanted to make sure I had heard them correctly. "What was the name of the city? Mrkbalik?" He nodded. "And the second name? Garibaldi? Garifaldo?" This reminded me of a name I had heard in waking life, so I tried to remember, then joked with him, "The laws of Janeane Garofolo?"

      He laughed, though it wasn't clear whether or not he recognized the pop culture reference, and repeated the name for me. It still sounded closer to "Garibaldi" than anything, though I had so much to remember at this point that I didn't dare ask him to try to spell it. Already in the back of my mind I was cycling through data points "mormon... married man... sprenn... mrkbalik..." trying to make sure I would be able to preserve them through waking.

      Mrkbalik... that's how it sounded, and I didn't ask him to confirm the spelling of that one either. But he had said it was a city name, and to my ears it sounded Russian or Eastern European. I had a sudden insight about this DC, and asked him, "You majored in Slavic studies, didn't you?" He confirmed this.

      I felt as though this conversation was winding down, so I got up and crossed the room. Against the opposite wall was a sort of shelving unit, framing square cubbyholes about the size you might put a pair of shoes in, six cubbies high and six wide. It was resting on some elevated base so that the fourth row of cubbies up was equal with my eye level. I looked in this row and saw that a couple of the cubbies were inhabited by small kittens. Could the kittens talk, I wonder? If so, I might even try the task again. But as I was wondering this, the little grey tabby kitten in the cubby I was peering into addressed me first. It had a tiny creaky high-pitched voice, like you might expect of a kitten, and said something about how its eyes were damaged or hurting. I was troubled to hear this and wondered how I might help. Since this was a dream, I figured the most effective way to help the kitten would be to correct its expectations. I smiled and said encouragingly, "No, your eyes are perfectly fine!" We had a few more exchanges like this, where the kitten would say something upsetting and I tried to reassure it. I don't remember anything afterwards so around this time I guess I woke up, although I don't have a distinct sense of the moment when it happened.