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    1. Julbock (WILD)

      by , 12-21-2016 at 07:01 AM
      Ritual: I often wake up briefly during the night, but at one point last night I noticed that my husband was awake too, so we ended up having a conversation, probably around 3 or 4am. After that it was hard to get back to sleep, and I tossed and turned for a while. Eventually I realized that I was tossing and turning with the distinctive sensations that suggested I might already be asleep. I played with it a bit, rolling until I was sure that I was not moving in a physical way, and when I felt certain that I was in the dream state, I "got up."

      WILD, "Julbock": I realized that it was my first WILD since moving to my new house, but as is typical, I failed to recognize the ways that the dream environment was different from WL. In fact, it bore very little resemblance to the place I currently live.

      I remembered my intention to work on the last two TOTYs I haven't completed, but after my difficulties making rainbows the other day, the idea felt stressful. Maybe I could just relax and explore the dream world? But I knew that abandoning my intentions was a recipe for losing lucidity fast. I decided on a sort of compromise: I would work on the Basilisk—why do I keep thinking of it as Basilisk? This is a mistake I keep making in waking life, not in dream—I would work on the Chimera task, but rather than go through the motions and try to force things to happen, I would let my subconscious take care of it.

      I was actually surprised how well this worked. Normally, if I needed a goat (as the task specifies) I would deliberately try to summon one, but this time I just held the idea casually in the back of my mind as I walked through the my darkened apartment. Moments later, what should catch my eye, but a stuffed toy goat! It actually resembled an object that I possess in waking life, a little Beanie Baby goat that I have for many years brought out around Christmas time and designated the "Julbock." I have not yet brought it out this year, but it crossed my mind to do so a few times recently.

      Is this a psi-ball?-julbock.jpg

      "Would a stuffed goat work?" I wondered as I picked up the small toy. I tried to remember the wording of the task. Surely it just specified "goat," not "live goat" or "real goat," as if those terms could even be meaningful in dream, so I figured that this goat would be adequate for my purposes, and carried it with me.

      Since the task required the chimera to act violently against DCs, I didn't want to create it in my own apartment, what with the dream version of my husband asleep in the other room, so I left and went out into the hall. (It is worth specifying at this point that I don't live in an apartment, and have not for many years, nor have I ever lived in any apartment that resembled the one in this dream, which is what I mean when I say that this dream environment was very different from WL.)

      Across the hallway was an open door leading into another bedroom, apparently empty. Should I summon the chimera there? But I didn't know whose bedroom it was, so I decided to keep moving. To my right was a solid wall, the end of the hallway, so I turned left and walked down the corridor. The hallway was narrow to start with, and the walking space was further restricted by the many chests of drawers that were pushed up against the wall on the left hand side.

      I sidled along with barely room enough to pass through the corridor for about twenty feet, until I emerged into a slightly wider but still relatively cramped lobby area. To my left, a chest-high counter bordered a desk and work area where two women were seated, clearly employees of this apartment complex. Attached to the wall behind them was a row of large gingerbread men, a festive decoration for the holiday season—but also just what I had been looking for. I was impressed how well my subconscious was pulling through for me. You see, in my earlier WL attempts to plan how how I might complete the chimera task without harming any human-like DCs, the inspiration occurred to me: have it fight gingerbread men! I wouldn't feel the least bit bad about crushing some animated DC cookies, since I happily bite the heads off gingerbread men in WL. And now, even without any elaborate summoning rituals or focused intent, my subconscious had handily provided me with everything I needed to complete the task: I had my goat, and I had some gingerbread men that could serve as victims. All I needed now was to transform the goat into a proper chimera and cause some cookie mayhem.

      "Could I borrow those gingerbread men?" I asked the women politely.

      "Sure," one of them replied nonchalantly.

      "Okay," I said, preparing myself for the complicated part. "I'm going to try to keep this under control. Hopefully no one will get hurt."

      Though I intended my words as a subtle warning, it was apparently so vague that the women took no notice whatsoever. One of them asked the other, "Could you get me a Coke?"

      "Sure," the other replied.

      "Half," added the woman who had made the request. This puzzled me. I had assumed that the request was for a can of Coke from a vending machine. How would one bring back half? But I didn't put too much thought into it, because I was preparing to transform the stuffed goat into a chimera... everthing was in place...

      ...And I woke up, once again, just before I could get to the heart of the task. When I was at my best, early this year before my long recent dry spell, I could often keep from fully waking and DEILD-chain my lucids in order to finish complex tasks like this, but now I seem to be out of practice.

      Updated 12-21-2016 at 07:13 AM by 34973

      Categories
      lucid , task of the year
    2. Climbing Beanstalks, Getting Nowhere (NLD + DILD)

      by , 09-24-2014 at 01:18 AM
      Ritual: WTB 1am, WBTB 4–6am. Plenty of hypnagogic imagery but hard to fall fully asleep, last noted time at 6:45am. Woke at 7:30 with dream as follows.

      Alchemy: First experiment with phenylpiracetam, 100mg. Stacked with 300mg Alpha-GPC (50%), and 200mg L-Theanine. Took in first hour of WBTB (in retrospect, I think this was too early and interfered with sleep). In second hour of WBTB, drank yerba mate tea (this was also probably overkill, as it turned out).


      NLD: I was in a big auditorium. No memory of what was going on there, but I was trying to climb a big pole in the center (maybe I was already prospectively thinking of Jack and the Beanstalk?) However, I felt weak and uncoordinated, and couldn't make it up very far.

      Later, I ended up in conflict with a guy. He was lean and wiry, small-framed, with a short trimmed greying beard. He and my husband had been in tiny vehicles on an indoor track and this guy, for no apparent reason, started aggressively crowding my husband into the side of the track. I was so angry I chased him. He got off his vehicle and disappeared into the crowd. I kept watching his movements and followed up until I was finally able to catch up. At the last minute I wondered if I was really going to go through with my intention to beat him up when I caught him... and decided yes, he needed to learn a lesson. So when I got close enough I immediately threw a punch, dodged his return blows, and finally knocked him down to the floor.

      He had a dream device on him—I took it to be his journal, but it resembled a long strip of chromed metal, several inches wide by about sixteen inches long, with some holes running along the center area. I took it away from him as a punishment. I wanted to hide it somewhere it would be hard to find, so I took it into the women's bathroom, where he presumably wouldn't think to look. There was an incinerator in there as well as a garbage can, but I decided that I couldn't destroy his journal, no matter how much I disliked him, because dreams are too important, even his. I just wanted to inconvenience him for a while, so I put the device in an inconspicuous shelf where I figured someone would come across it eventually. There were a lot of dream herbs and supplements on the shelf, apparently free for the taking, but I reminded myself that this was a public place and anyone could have tampered with them, so I'd better leave them alone, and stick to my own at home which I know are clean.

      DILD: It was around this point that I remembered to RC and realized I was dreaming. My goal was to work on the fairy tale TOTYs. I had actually come across a sandwich bag containing a handful of Giant White Beans in my RL kitchen the other day, and thought that these would be ideal to plant outside to grow the beanstalks. So after getting lucid, I headed straight for the kitchen and grabbed the bag, then went outside to plant them in the little plots of soil that abut the wall of the house. I felt like I was rushing, but the dreamstate felt shallow and unstable so I was motivated to act quickly.

      In the dream it was drizzling lightly, so the soil was soft and easy to work. I planted the beans by hand, three in the first plot, and then went to the next plot to plant three more. But by the fourth bean I realized that they might take a long time to germinate if I didn't hurry things along. Fortunately I had a plan for this. I had been meaning to work with the Ars Magica Form "Herbam" for a while anyway, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Would "Creo" or "Rego" be the proper technique for this case? I decided to go with "Creo" since I was growing the beanstalks from seed.

      I held my hand over the soil where I had just planted the fourth bean and intoned, "Creo herbam." After a little concentration it readily responded, a thick sprout emerging from the earth. It didn't look so much like a beanstalk as a huge stalk of asparagus, at least six inches in diameter. I figured that would be okay, as it would turn out sturdier this way... and I like asparagus. I quickly planted the other two beans in the second plot, but the stalk was growing rapidly and was already a few feet tall. There were still two more beans in the bag but I decided to save them... what if I needed to plant another stalk to get back down? Jack probably saved a few beans if he was smart.

      Remembering how much trouble I had experienced attempting to climb in the previous NLD, I came up with a better idea. While the stalk was growing past chest height, I grabbed onto it and let it lift me as it grew. I wondered if this would still count for the TOTY, but figured probably, in terms of altitude I was certainly climbing, even if the stalk was doing all the work!

      We went up and up. I was waiting to reach some kind of surface or platform that I could step off onto. How did this go in the story? I don't think I've ever actually read the original, and started to regret that I hadn't done a bit more research, because it was hard to imagine what kind of solid ground Jack could have encountered at the top of the stalk. Did he step onto the upper surface of the clouds? Or was there some kind of floating island? I may have been overrationalizing, but it annoyed me that I couldn't remember how this was supposed to work.

      The dream seems to have responded to my confusion, because the space around me became ambiguous. I had started outdoors but now felt like I was indoors again, still on the beanstalk, which was still growing. However, it was now "growing" through what was effectively a visual loop: I noticed the same attic space passing by again and again in front of my eyes, like a skip in a record. I attempted to wait it out but it just kept repeating, so finally I figured, okay, I'll take the hint, I'll get off here.

      Around this point the dreamstate was feeling very thin and shallow, and my senses felt poorly integrated. I had to focus my attention for a moment on just on staying engaged in the dream. When this awkward passage resolved, I was back in a room that somewhat resembled my RL bedroom, only now the beanstalk seemed to be growing from the middle of the bed and burst right through the ceiling. I didn't have the impression that any giant was in the vicinity. Maybe I needed to climb it again? But the hole in the ceiling was only big enough to accommodate the beanstalk. I would have to widen it if I wanted to crawl through.

      This reminded me of my separate and fallback intention to work on Hansel and Gretel if the beanstalk idea went awry. My new strategy involved breaking off pieces of a house and eating it, to encourage it to turn into the gingerbread cottage of the story. I reached up with my hand to tear a piece from the edge of the hole in the ceiling. It broke off easily in my hand like rotten wood. I took a bite: it has the texture of a dry crumbly cookie but not much flavor. I tried to conjure the taste of gingerbread but I don't notice much change. I went wandering through the house looking for a witch but there's no one else home.

      There's a vague section here. I can't remember if I actually ended up climbing the first stalk to end up outside on the roof, or if I just walked outside to check on the other beanstalks, but at some point I am outdoors again, and I observe that the other beanstalks I planted also grew at some point but are now brown and withered. I can't remember what became of the first one, but evidently it couldn't get me any farther than the roof. Still no giants, but I see what looks like a higher platform on top of a neighboring building. I break off a length of one of the dead stalks and try to use it to pole vault myself up onto the platform. It gets me almost to the top but not quite.

      Occupying the center of the wall leading up to this platform is a very tall bookshelf, only about three or four feet in width but running all the way up to the top of the thirty or forty foot wall. After my second or third attempt to pole vault up, I realize that I can't make it all the way to the top using this method, so I get off on one of the uppermost shelves. I don't think I can finish the climb directly from here, but I have another idea. My weight is already destabilizing the bookshelf, pulling it down and me along with it, so I realize that I might be able to use the rebound effect to launch myself onto the platform. As the top of the bookshelf sinks all the way down to ground level, I climb over the top and position myself on the back of the shelf (which is level with the ground and facing up after the bookshelf has fallen all the way down). I anticipate that the whole shelf is going to rebound back into its original place, and sure enough it does. Using the force of its rebound, I jump off when I'm near the top and finally make it up onto the platform... when the dream ended.

      Note: Although I managed to get a fair amount done despite adverse conditions, the dreamstate was low quality throughout. I stayed up during the WBTB about twice as long as I had originally intended, which meant I took the supplements way too early so that they were actively inhibiting sleep by the time I returned to bed, and drinking the caffeinated yerba mate on top of that was evidently a mistake. But it is hard to argue counterfactuals because sometimes if I don't overdo it, I don't get lucid at all, so it's always a tricky balancing act.