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    task of the year

    task of the year dreams

    1. Aladdin

      by , 05-14-2014 at 12:56 PM
      I managed to hit another Task of the Year item! This one's from the morning of 5/11/2014.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #209: Aladdin

      Iím standing on a long stone pathway that cuts through the middle of a vast lake. People pass by me on either side, and as I watch them go, I think about my intent to have a lucid dream. It quickly dawns on me that one has just begun.

      I look out over the lake,.seeing numerous Greek-styled marble columns sticking up out of the water. I take flight to get a better view of the water and itís just as striking from higher up. I go up and up, preparing for some peaceful exploration, but I accidentally cut through some low cloud cover and lose sight of the lake. A flock of birds crosses in front of me and for no discernible reason, the frame rate of the dream briefly dips. Iím briefly amused that my brain seemed to have had trouble with that relatively simple scene.

      I head back down through the cloud cover, regaining sight of the lake. I fly lower, studying DCs as I go. All of the flight finally reminds me of the Aladdin Task of the Year, and I land, mentally gathering the details of what Iím supposed to do.

      First, summon that lamp. I try several behind the back summons, but I keep botching them. This is annoying me a bit, but I finally manage to get the sense of an object in my hand even though I canít see it. I wiggle my fingers a bit like a magician and the lamp ďpaintsĒ itself in from top to bottom as I watch.

      I make my wish for a magic carpet, and immediately one scoops me up from underneath. I remember my first attempt at this task and again ask the lamp for a ďdelicious cookieĒ. Right away a cookie appears in my left hand and I donít hesitate before cramming it in my mouth. Itís really good! The chocolate chips are just a little small for the ďperfect cookieĒ but itís still excellent.



      Iím apparently stuck on a ďdelicious foodĒ theme so I immediately wish for ďdelicious hot chocolateĒ. I bring my hand back into view to find it holding a china cup full of hot chocolate. I guzzle it down. Itís way colder than it should be and there are odd clumpy patches in it like it didnít mix well, but still tasty. Okay, done!

      I continue flying the carpet for a bit, staying about 10 feet off the ground. I come to a section that looks like the exit to an amusement park. Thereís a woman waving goodbye to me and the other people as we leave. I donít get much further before
      the dream ends.
    2. The Giant Killer

      by , 04-25-2014 at 03:39 PM
      Finally on the board for Task of the Year 2014!!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #206: The Giant Killer

      I sense a transition into the dream state, but just as it begins I hear our dogs start barking downstairs. Wife stirs in the bed next to me and I wonder how much of this is pure dream and how much of it might be sounds and sensations from waking life bleeding over.

      I will myself to roll out of bed OBE-style and I decide to phase downstairs to see what the dogs are on about. I pass through walls and the floor like a ghost and I think to myself that ďIím spirit walking.Ē

      I pass through one last set of walls and the geometry gets weird for a moment and I wonder if Iím losing this dream. I rake my fingers across the floor but I pass right through. Still, it seems to bring me back into the experience and there in front of me are our 2 dogs laying on the floor panting.

      Their food and water bowls both lay empty and I figure thatís what they were making a fuss about. Even though Iím still floating like a ghost, Iím able to grab the water bowl and sling it across the room and it clangs realistically against the floor. I consider asking Wife the next morning if she heard any of this commotion.

      I head out into the garage, walking like normal now. Rather than phase, for some reason I lift the garage door manually and walk out into the night. I move past the circular driveway to the grass, thinking of the Jack and the Beanstalk Task of the Year. I dig a quick hole and everythingís feeling very vivid now. I do a behind-the-back summon of a seed which feels very half-hearted but fortunately still does yield a tiny seed. I quickly cover it over with dirt.

      For water I move my hands in a little sprinkling motion over the little mound and a few drops of ďrainĒ fall. The plant immediately springs up through the ground and stretches skyward. It looks like a normal vine at first but as it continues up it looks more like a twisting rope bridge that goes all the way up into the clouds.



      I grab the lower rung and start hauling myself up but I feel like Iím getting nowhere and wonít ever be able to tackle all that distance. I decide that the planks are being reeled in from above and are pulling me up toward the clouds. It works! In a couple of spots the planks twist and turn oddly as if theyíre trying to throw me off, but I ignore this and before long Iím at the top! I float up over the edge into what looks like a restaurant thatís being prepared for a party.

      Two women standing nearby appear to be in charge of the scurrying wait staff. One of the women, an attractive lady in her early 40s, looks up at me as I walk nearby. She has a streak of her short brown hair bleached almost white. My task is the defeat the giant that lives up here, so I ask, ďWhereís the giant?Ē She points behind me and to my left.

      When I turn, thereís a guy roughly 9-10 feet tall walking through the door of the restaurant. Heís mid-40s with dark hair and a thick, barrel-chested build. ďSo youíre the giant?Ē I ask leadingly.



      ďThatís right,Ē he says and immediately takes a swing at me. His punch catches me square in the face but I decide that it will have no effect. I wind up not feeling anything or even falling back and it kind of feels like cheating. I strike at the man, trying what I for some reason think is a ďkidney punchĒ but actually hit him in the side of the gut. He winces a bit but doesnít move much.

      I follow this up with a kick to the body and the giant clutches at his chest. I feel like this is working but I become paranoid about losing the dream, so I leap up and grab onto the giantís face. I try to do this thing where I burn him with my hands but it completely fails. The failure makes me kind of vicious and desperate, so I gouge at his left eye with my right thumb and then strike him on the neck with my forearm. He collapses hard to the ground and I go with him. As Iím picking myself up to see whatís next,
      the dream ends.
    3. The King

      by , 04-02-2014 at 03:46 PM
      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #197: The King

      It's modern times, and Iím the king of a small nation. Iím sharing a smallish hotel suite with several royal guests. A few of the royal guests in the adjoining room are very upset with me about something and Iím pacing the room, dreading that I have to talk the issue over with them.

      I inspect one of the hotel desks and see two narrow drawers. Somehow I realize that the drawer on the left contains a picture of the girl that my son E (who I think is a prince) is engaged to. I open the drawer and see that the future princess is a cute girl in her late teens with long brown hair. I think for a moment how odd this pairing is since my son is only 4 years old. I struggle with this for a moment, thinking Iíve forgotten my sonís age, until
      I realize that Iím dreaming.

      I walk into an adjacent room where I think my kids are sleeping. Thereís a crib here but instead of a child, the crib contains my friend R (who appeared in a few of my early lucids way back when). R is squatting in the crib, not doing much of anything, so I grab him under the armpits and hoist him out of the crib. I tell him that Iím having a lucid dream and that I hope heís having one too (or maybe that I just hope heís having a lot of them recently.)

      He walks back to the main part of the hotel room with me, briefly exploring the kitchen area, before we turn toward a large picture window overlooking a lake. I invite him to come fly out over the lake with me, but he seems hesitant and apprehensive. He remarks that he doesnít think heís got the skills to pull this off.

      I say some reassuring words, and when I turn back to the big picture window, the scene has changed from a lake to a large office filled with cubicles. Thereís a woman with long, dark hair and glasses working quietly at a desk, and when she looks up to see us seems completely astonished.

      The change is a surprise to me, so I decide to head out the other way from the hotel room. I donít press the issue with R and let him just hang out in the hotel room. The hotel room exit takes me into a library with a high ceiling. I take advantage of the ceiling space by flying around. I help myself navigate around the room by pointing where I want to go, and it works great!

      After a moment I remember that I need to pursue my goals, so I land and make an attempt at the Jack and the Beanstalk Task of the Year. I produce a seed from behind the back and then plunge my hands into the industrial carpet of the library floor. I find that I can dig it up easily and all these little chunks of foam pop out of the hole I leave behind. I use them to cover the seed back up and start thinking about how I should water it to help it grow.

      As Iím thinking my way through this, the scene goes dark and
      I feel myself lying in bed. Iím super hopeful that itís just a false awakening, and I even hit the nose pinch. Too bad -- Iím awake!
    4. Indoor Gardening

      by , 03-25-2014 at 02:07 PM
      This lucid is from the morning of 3/24/2014. Still going for Task of the Year!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #195: Indoor Gardening

      Iím working in a busy office setting with my friend ďLeroyĒ. The very popular manager of the office has just been fired and everyoneís gathered to hear a speech from some stuffed shirt corporate guy explaining why this was done.

      ďLosing a beloved manager is like losing a friend,Ē says the generic corporate guy.

      Leroy farts loudly. I laugh, then turn to him and say, ďIím not sure how many friends youíll have if you keep doing that.Ē He doesnít seem to realize Iím joking and looks hurt. Now I feel sort of bad. I assume heís sensitive because we just lost our manager.

      As the corporate guy drones on and on, I start feeling very stressed. I realize that Iím late for an orchestra concert Iím supposed to be performing in. I sneak out of the meeting, looking for the auditorium. I walk down a long, carpeted hallway and find the auditorium doors on my left. When I step inside, I see that it looks more like a movie theater. I get a sense of how odd this all is and
      Iím enormously relieved when I realize that Iím dreaming.

      The scene rapidly begins to fade, so I rub my hands together and run back and forth across the front of the theater. It takes a moment, but after maybe 3 or 4 trips from one end of the theater to the other, the visuals all come back.

      The theater is large but there are only five seats right next to each other. I recognize one of the theatergoers as my friend ďSKRĒ, but hers is the only familiar face. SKR seems to be looking for something under her seat so I decide not to just focus on tasks rather than trying to communicate.

      I start going for Jack and the Beanstalk Task of the Year. I perform a behind-the-back summon of seeds, and my hand comes back with little nuggets attached to long wisps of cotton. I just go ahead like this is good enough and start digging into the floor. The concrete floor scoops easily aside, leaving a nice, shallow hole for the seeds. I stuff them into the dirt, cover it back over, and start looking for my beanstalk to grow.

      The shoots start emerging, but when they get to be about 4-5 inches long, they flop over onto their side on the floor. I tug at them a bit but they just feel like limp, frayed green carpet. I give them a tug and try to imagine them shooting skyward, but Iím not able to get tons of energy behind this thought.

      Now I see Wife walking in through the doors of the theater. Thereís a sensation thatís sort of like waking up and
      then I find myself in my in-lawsí house. I ďrealizeĒ that all of what I just experienced took place inside Unreal Engine 4 and Iíve now returned to the real world.

      Wife gives me a stern look. ďDo you have anything you should be telling me?Ē

      I sheepishly admit that I skipped out on playing in my orchestra concert so that I could have a lucid dream. She gives a serious nod and walks away. Iím glad sheís not too pissed off about this.
      The dream ends...
    5. Magic Carpet School

      by , 03-18-2014 at 04:47 PM
      Yet another near miss on Task of the Year! I really need to work on learning to close these. Lots of fun though!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #193: Magic Carpet School

      Iím part of a large parenting group thatís exploring a gloomy cavern illuminated by translucent pools of water. After quietly exploring this place for a while, we all wind up back at one of the momís houses. Somebody suggests that we do a group hug, and we all awkwardly move toward the middle of the room.

      I notice that Andy Bernard from The Office is part of the group. He looks sweaty and awkward and I think, ďHey that guy who plays Andy Bernard sure looks sweaty and awkward in person.Ē I do a quick mental check to see whether this is a dream and decide that
      yes, it definitely is.

      I walk out of this living room into an elementary school classroom thatís in the middle of some kind of lesson. I pass through without interacting with any of the dream characters, wanting to get outside for a Task of the Year attempt. (The Aladdinís lamp task with a magic carpet and three wishes.)

      Leaving this classroom takes me to a second classroom and I start worrying that Iíll spend this whole lucid wandering through an endless series of grade school classes. I head for a wall, announcing that ďThis is a phase outside,Ē before plunging right through. I wind up in the void, but my hands and forearms are still brightly illuminated and clearly visible.

      I rub my hands together and slowly the void becomes filled with a swirling field of stars. This fades into a scene from the Matrix that has the Youtube logo and controls underneath it, and I see that I am watching a video whose length is ď0:98Ē. I briefly wonder if I went to bed wearing VR goggles or something and that the images are penetrating my eyelids. Scenes from The Matrix flash by and the image slowly rotates.

      Now thereís a crackling sound and my vision fills with a series of strange characters that I canít identify. I feel a sharp tug backward and I wait for the new scene to form. My vision reforms intoÖ another elementary school classroom, this one a little bigger with an adjacent windowed playroom. I head immediately for the exit and Iím pleased to find myself in an entrance area. I bolt through a set of glass doors and now Iím outside.

      Immediately I start attempting the lamp summon by ďfindingĒ it behind my back, but my hand just keeps coming back empty. After three failures, Iím really frustrated by this. On the last attempt my hand comes back with some little piece of dirty, wooden-looking junk about the size of a sugar cube. This time I pretend that this is the lamp but itís just way too small. ďBiggerÖ biggerÖĒ and do a little magician-esque gesture. It plumps up nicely into a real magic lamp! Itís way too light to be realistic, but who cares, next step!

      I rub the lamp, wishing for the magic carpet. I decide to be really specific, saying, ďA magic carpet. Make it rolled up.Ē A simple little rolled-up rug appears on the ground. I immediately think, Whyíd you ask for it rolled up? Thatís just a pain in the ass. I expect the magic carpet to unroll and it does, so I quickly sit down. As I do, it lifts me up into the air and starts flying leisurely forward.

      For my second wish, I quickly say ďDelicious cookie!Ē and a tiny little sliver of cookie appears in my hand, like someone had already eaten most of it. I find this awfully stingy for a magic lamp but I stuff it in my mouth. Itís chocolate chip, not bad at all.

      I think about how close I am to completing the task and the excitement gets the best of me. I get one last look at the roof of a one-story building as I float over it before
      the dream ends.

      Updated 03-18-2014 at 04:51 PM by 57387

      Categories
      lucid , task of the year
    6. CL and the Beanstalk

      by , 02-26-2014 at 04:30 PM
      Very close call on Task of the Year! I'll definitely have to go for this one again.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #188: CL and the Beanstalk

      I WILD into a scene filled with fleeting hypnagogic imagery which quickly fades into the void. I start waving my dream-hands in a repetitive motion, waiting for a scene to form. Nothing happens right away, though, so I start licking my fingers for a while to see if that works.

      Nothingís shaping up yet, though, so I try seeing how far I can stick my tongue out. I can feel it extending outward from my mouth seemingly on and on, and after a few moments I can vaguely see it extending away from my face into the distance. Curious how large I can make it, I will the tongue to expand and it balloons out in a huge, rectangular shape as large as a room. After a couple of seconds, I can see that yes, it actually is a roomÖ

      Now Iím standing high up in an office building, looking out over a city skyline through enormous windows. Itís late afternoon. I enjoy the sight of the skyline for a moment, rubbing my hands together.

      As Iím doing this, a helicopter rises into view from below my line of sight, turns itself directly toward me, and opens fire with dual-mounted miniguns.



      The office windows shatter and I feel myself being pelted with glass and bullets. Thereís no pain, but each impact feels like a definitive hit. I know that itís a dream but I canít stop myself from shying from the window, crouching down, and nearly cowering. I hold my hand out toward the helicopter then swipe it quickly to the right, flinging it away from the building and out of sight.

      The wrecked office is filled with random debris now, and I make my way past it to stand at the edge of the now-empty window. I recall Task of the Year (find and plant some magic beans, climb the beanstalk, and defeat the giant at the top.) My immediate goal is to get back to ground level, so I instinctively point to a lower rooftop perhaps 7 or 8 stories down and will myself to float to it. It works and Iím pulled smoothly down.

      Now Iím really enthused about this pointing thing, so I point at the street below, once again pulling myself down. Iím filled with confidence after this, so I just start knocking out Task of the Year steps as quickly as I can.

      I need bare earth, so I scoop the roadway aside, leaving a bowl-shaped hollow for my seed. I close and then open my hand, expecting the seed to be there. It is! (Looks like a pine nut.) I stuff the seed in the hole, cover it over with dirt and pat it down. A stalk immediately starts growing out of the ground and I jump onto it as it goes by. The stalkís growing fast and since I hitched a ride so early, the plantís doing the climbing for me.

      I streak past the nearby buildings and head into the clouds. Immediately a shirtless, ape-like giant with a long beard comes loping toward me, about 100 feet away. Iím preparing to do something violent and decisive to make absolutely certain that I nail Task of the Year, but excitement gets the best of me. The scene collapses
      into a false awakening back in my bedroom.

      I need to use the bathroom, so I get out of bed, head in there, and start peeing. My aim is terrible and I keep hitting the seat, the floor, the tank, everything but what Iím aiming at. This really frustrates me and I assume that I must be super tired.

      Just then I notice a strange, robotic laundry machine sloshing water onto the floor. Its label indicates that itís some kind of diaper-washing contraption. Our kids barely use any diapers these days so I wonder why we have it and why itís here flooding our bathroom.

      My 2-year-old son R walks into the room, followed soon after by a sleepy-looking Wife. Her hair is standing up in all kinds of crazy directions, including one nearly two-foot spike thatís going straight up. ďYour hair is pretty awesome right now,Ē I tell her. She giggles and checks herself out in the mirror. We have a good laugh about this until
      the dream ends.
    7. The Hybrid

      by , 02-20-2014 at 03:51 PM
      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #187: The Hybrid

      I have a false awakening in a strange bedroom that I think is some kind of condominium. Wife is here along with my two young kids E and R. I wonder whether I can go back to sleep and try to have a lucid dream but then realize that Iím having one right now.

      I charge toward the window but feel someone short grab onto my arm. ďWho is that?Ē I ask, looking down to find my 2-year-old son R clutching me. ďItís [R], Daddy. I want to go with you. Daddy, let me go with you!Ē For a moment I consider it, but once I think about my Task of the Year goal (turning into a fish-man and acting out The Little Mermaid), I decide no way. Iím way too nervous about bringing one of my kidsí DCs into the ocean.

      Rís grip slips off of me as I phase through the window. I feel a little guilty for a moment, but I remind myself that this isnít really him. Iím wound up in my backyard during what looks like mid-morning. I jump up into the air, imagining that there will be an ocean where my eastern neighborís yard ought to be. But when I get up there, it still looks like waking life.

      I have some momentary flight trouble, but I psych myself up with a few phrases until things are going the way I want them to. I fly west for a bit, slowly turning southward and expecting to see water untilÖ I see the ocean just ahead of me!

      I pop up into the air and then plunge straight downward into the water, happily swimming about beneath the waves. The waterís darker than Iíd like, but I try not to get too nervous or worked about this. I imagine my lower body turning into that of a fish, swim around that way for a bit, then look down to check my handiwork. Itís close, but not quite rightÖ each leg is still there but all scaly like a fishís body with a fin on the end.

      I look away again, swim around a bit more, trying to make it all feel natural. I check again and itís looking better, just about right, but now Iím feeling paranoid about my breathing. I feel like I canít breathe underwater and need to surface. Panicked that something is wrong with my breathing in waking life, I push for the surface and fall into the void. I keep doing repetitive swimming motions, though, trying to hold onto the dream. After a while of this, I wonder if Iím making swimming motions in bed. This finally transitions me into...


      Ö a false awakening where Iím lying in a large bed next to Wife. The roomís not my own, though. I recognize this as the condominium from the beginning of the dream,
      and realize that Iím still dreaming. I roll over to Wifeís side of the bed and start getting frisky. She murmurs sleepily but when I tell her that ďthis is all a dreamĒ, she becomes more engaged. We make out for a little bit, but the dream hits the void.

      After a moment, though, thereís a transition into an office environment. Wifeís still here with me so we continue making out.

      Spoiler for Sexytime:


      Ö
      the dream ends.
    8. The Witch

      by , 10-04-2013 at 09:10 PM
      Got a Task of the Month on this one and tried to use it (unsuccessfully) for Task of the Year. Didn't manage to get them both but I'm glad I gave it a try though!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #152: The Witch

      I'm riding in a car (driven by my friend "Leroy"), along with two other unknown passengers who are in the back seat. We're all out together on a road trip, heading down a clear highway during what looks like mid-morning. The road is steeply banked like a race track and we pass by a speed limit sign that reads "50".

      Up ahead there's a section of the road that's pitted with giant potholes. In front of us, a pick-up truck is working its way gingerly around a huge pothole that's torn up most of our side of the highway. "Be careful here," I say, pointing ahead at the pothole. But as I say this, I realize that I'm sitting on the left side of the car, Leroy on the right. Yet he's got the steering wheel over on his side, as if we're driving around in the United Kingdom or New Zealand or someplace. I
      realize that I'm dreaming, even wondering whether it happened this way because I've been playing Dead Island lately.

      I decide that if this is a dream, phasing out through the car should be no problem. I look down at my lap and focus on moving my body left through the door and out onto the road. It takes a couple of seconds, but once the phase takes hold, I feel myself lurch to the left and I move through the door as if it wasn't there. My vision quickly dims and I find myself in a semi-void. I reach out for the road surface and grasp onto it. While I still can't see anything I feel like I'm physically still out on the roadway.

      I crawl forward for a bit until I feel confident enough with where I am. My vision is still very dark, but I decide not to worry about it until the next scene unfolds. I get to my feet and start walking forward, rubbing my hands together the whole way. I narrate to myself the fact that "I'm having a lucid dream" and keep moving forward until things clear up.

      The dimness lifts and I find myself in something that looks sort of like a college gymnasium. A lady in her mid-50s with a long gray ponytail is chatting with another woman that's sitting at a desk behind a window. I remember the task to have a witch cast a spell on you and I decide that this lady will be my witch.

      I interrupt them by announcing to the woman that "Okay, you can do that teleportation spell to the Colosseum on me now." She doesn't answer at first, seeming to want to finish up what she's saying.

      Once she gets the last of what she wanted to say out, she turns to me and matter-of-factly says, "Okay, teleportation spell... where was that to?"

      "The Colosseum," I repeat. As soon as I say that, the "witch" shoves me in the chest and I go tumbling through the air down the hallway, right toward a wall. I think that I sure hope I phase through that and sure enough, I pass right through the wall, kind of floating on my back. My vision rather crudely recenters itself and now I'm standing in a tall hallway with cinderblock walls. I can hear the noise of the crowd... this has to be the Colosseum! The cinderblock walls aren't historical but I think that I can make it work.

      I move to the end of the hallway, turn, and find myself in another hallway, this one with a much higher ceiling. I jump/fly up to find that the wall doesn't stretch all the way to the ceiling and I perch on top of the wall to survey the area. Below me I see a twisted, mazelike series of halls where male DCs that look like athletes or possibly gladiators are wandering around. Just past this maze stands a tall gate that I think must be the entrance to the Colosseum.

      As I'm planning to fly over the maze to the gate, I briefly wonder whether this dream will remain stable long enough for me to complete Europe Task of the Year item. In response to this thought, the dream almost immediately
      collapses and I'm awake.
    9. Kunoichi

      by , 08-28-2013 at 06:21 PM
      Long dream! I think that in all this dream may have gone for about 30 minutes. It's got me excited about the Great Pyramid Task of the Year again!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #139: Kunoichi

      I have a false awakening in some kind of luxury hotel suite, feeling frustrated that I failed to have a lucid dream. All of the lights are on, and a digital clock on the kitchen counter tells me that it's 4:45 AM. Okay, I still have a little time left to have a lucid dream.

      Suddenly I realize that Wife isn't here and I panic. I have a false memory that she went out just as I was going to sleep and I start freaking out that something has happened to her. Two men walk into the suite from the adjoining balcony and I run at them, demanding that they tell me where she is. They look bemused by the intensity of my reaction and I wonder whether this could all be a dream. I try the nose pinch reality check and
      become lucid.

      Ignoring these two random guys, I phase through a glass door out to the balcony. Rather than go leaping off, I float up a few feet first (just to be safe) before flying out into the early morning sky. I'm about 80 feet up, and I swoop down toward a park that I see below me, landing near a tree. I notice that the tree looks amusingly pixellated and I remember my goal of trying to maximize dream vividness. I focus on drawing out the detail of the tree, feeling its bark and studying its needles until it becomes extremely vivid.

      I follow a dirt path toward a mall, scooping up a handful of reddish dirt and (for some reason) popping it into my mouth. (It tastes about like you'd expect.) At this point, there's a long segment of the dream where my memory gets a little hazy, but I recall that it was fairly long, involved me travelling through a shopping mall and flying around a bit between levels. I remember flying close by a harried-looking mom struggling to manage a pair of kids and a pair of shopping bags, a bright central area, and at one point a black guy in a purple dress shirt gives me a thumbs up when I fly by.

      Finally I leave the mall through an emergency exit and emerge in an alley. A man slouches lazily against the wall and farther away a dark-haired teenage girl is sitting on a stack of shipping palettes. I look at each of them in turn and they immediately return my gaze. I'm struck by the subtlety in the way their faces move, blink, and shift so realistically.

      As I'm deciding which way to go down this alley, I remember the Africa Task of the year (fix the Great Sphinx then ride her to the top of the Great Pyramid.) I decide that the Great Pyramid is just at the end of the alley, imagine it in detail, then turn around with the image still firmly in my end.

      I'm shocked by how well this works. I walk out of the alley onto a windy landscape of sand dunes. In the distance I see an enormous version of the Great Pyramid dominating the horizon, probably four times larger than the real thing. Dark storm clouds roll violently above the Pyramid. At the top of the Pyramid, the wind is so strong that I see stones rolling off of the top and tumbling down the side.



      I run over the dunes toward the Pyramid and as I get closer I see not just one Great Sphinx but probably a dozen of them scattered near the Pyramid's base. Some of them are in a horrible state of disrepair, but this doesn't worry me. If I can fix her nose, I can fix everything else too.

      As I'm approaching the top of one dune, a pair of female ninja dressed in red appear and come racing toward me, each wielding a pair of sai. The first one leaps at me and I force-push her to the side so that she flies past me. The second I force-push directly forward and she flops onto her back on the dune. I walk past her and I watch over my shoulder as the two of them regroup for another attack. I hold out my hands toward them and jokingly say "Now kiss!" They glare at me like I'm a huge pervert and I feel a little embarrassed. (This is a nerdy reference to this meme.) One ninja gives the other a quick peck on the cheek and then they return to glaring at me.

      I say something about how I was only joking and that I drank a lot of peppermint tea before bed, and as I'm going on and on explaining myself, the two ninja start making out. I realize that all my blah blah blah is only making things worse and I'm feeling sexy and distracted. I turn back toward the Pyramid but the landscape doesn't seem stable anymore. I wind up in the void.

      I rub my hands together to stay locked in and start feeling the floor, trying to turn the ground back into sand so I can return to the Pyramid. I go at this for a good while. After roughly a full minute, the floor starts feeling like carpeting and I emerge in what looks like a dormitory. I walk out into a nearby hall and run into a college friend that I've lost touch with (and is notorious for being hard to reach.) I ask him how he's been and he gives me an email address (!) and promises to respond if I email him at that address. I make him repeat the promise (which amuses him) and bid him goodbye before phasing through a glass door to a second-floor walkway.

      My father-in-law is standing nearby with a few elderly Asian men and women. I jump onto the railing and start pulling myself onto the awning when I feel hands grasping at my legs and shouts of "You'll hurt yourself!" and "Are you crazy?" They pull me back down to the balcony and my father-in-law starts explaining to the other DCs that I'm "special". I fly down the walkway to provide a visual aid and the DCs react by speaking in astonished Mandarin. I think about how amazingly realistic this Mandarin sounds but then think, oh yeah... of course it sounds realistic to me. It's what I think Mandarin sounds like.

      I fly off of the walkway, landing in front of an entrance to the same mall I was at earlier. I decide to retrace my steps through the mall, and I pass through a store that sells little pet sweaters for tiny dogs. Little sweater-clad dogs roam everywhere. I exit the store and it isn't long before
      I have a false awakening back in the same dorm room, no longer lucid.

      I walk outside to find that it's daylight out. NewArtemis and her husband are standing nearby. We say hey, not at all surprised to see one another. Art lays down on the sidewalk, still participating in the conversation but also trying to sleep by curling up with this big canvas bookbag she's holding. I tell Art and her husband about the dream I just had, mentioning that I went through a store "that sells sweaters for those little yappy dogs". Immediately a little white yappy dog comes crawling out of Art's book bag, dressed in a green sweater. "Seriously?" I say, feeling like a jerk. "I'm sorry." She laughs and says it's cool.

      Art seems to kind of fall asleep and I talk with her husband for a while about dogs, telling him they did the right thing by not getting huge, crazy dogs like us. I look down and notice that Art's hair has changed and become really curly and sort of red. It seems weird to me but since her husband doesn't say anything, I figure this is normal. He and I talk about other random stuff for a while until
      the dream ends.

      Updated 08-28-2013 at 06:54 PM by 57387

      Categories
      lucid , task of the year
    10. The Great Wall of China

      by , 08-23-2013 at 09:41 PM
      Asia Task of the Year! (Vandalize the Great Wall of China and battle the authorities with kung-fu.) This was the second of two lucids from last night and the level of vividness in this one was incredible. It was literally more vivid than waking life, which is such a difficult experience to describe or recapture. Pretty amazing stuff.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #137: The Great Wall of China

      I have a false awakening in my childhood home, wandering into the dining room to find that my parents are hosting a breakfast. Wife is walking beside me, my folks and brother-in-law "Muppet" are seated at the table, along with Mom and Dad and a few other strangers standing around nearby. As I approach the table, I realize that I am not wearing a shirt and feel embarrassed. Then I see myself in the mirror and I look really in-shape. Now I feel better. Still seems a little inappropriate but I sit down, hoping nobody will make a big deal out of anything.

      I'm waiting for the food to arrive when something tips me off that this might all be a dream. I nose pinch and
      breathe in and out 2-3 times. I announce to everyone that I'm having a lucid dream, get up from the table, and phase through the window to the street outside. I hear Mom and Dad telling me to wait, that I'll miss the breakfast, asking me whether I'm sure that I'm dreaming. But yeah, after phasing through the window, pretty sure.

      I take a moment to make the scene as vivid as possible, looking over all of the detail that I see around me, the sound of my voice, the way that the morning air feels (chill and humid.) Thick, spiral-shaped clouds hang in the street, totally immobile and so thick that you can't see through them. When I touch them they literally feel like cotton balls pushed together and just floating in mid-air.

      I walk down the street for a while, checking out my hands for inconsistencies. They look completely lifelike, with the one exception being that I can't extend my left ring finger. Every time I try, it resists me and just winds up bending again. The street is still foggy but it's a more natural-looking fog now. The other strange thing is that every tree on the street is decorated with dozens of dreamcatchers that sway in a gentle breeze. The vividness is stunning.

      At the end of the street is a house with a huge wall safe mounted above its front door. The safe keeps blowing apart in an explosion, reforming, and then blowing apart again, over and over. I pass by my college friend "Bear" as I turn the corner and then come to a roughly ten-foot stone wall that blocks me from going any further. I try to fly over it but end up just doing a weak jump and having to scramble over like this was waking life. From there I enter a mall area where I announce to the passerby that "I'm having a lucid dream." Some of them look at me with some interest, but nobody verbally responds. I find an exit and imagine that the Great Wall of China is right outisde.

      I exit the mall and find myself in front of a six-foot tall replica of the Great Wall of China. Now we're getting somewhere! I walk a little further down a covered walkway and see a sign that reads "Joy's Toys" and under that "Great Wall". DCs are walking into a brick building near the sign that looks like a gift shop. I decide that this is a souvenir shop that's located right by the Great Wall, meaning that the real thing is... right behind me.



      I turn around and there it is! It's much taller, easily 50 feet, imposing, and really ancient-looking. I vault over a random pile of building materials to get closer. There's a small crowd of DCs gathered near the base watching as three terra cotta warriors perform some kind of odd, stilted dance performance. The terra cotta warriors take no notice of me but I figure they'll be the ones coming after me when I vandalize the Great Wall for Task of the Year.

      Advancing right to the wall, I haul back and punch it once, hoping that this will break a piece off. Nothing much happens. I grab at the wall with my fingers and manage to break a tiny piece off, but this doesn't feel like the serious vandalism I was going for. I decide to go with my premeditated plan of tagging up the Great Wall with spray paint. I summon an aerosol can into my hand and start spraying out some letters:

      "DV 4 LIFE"


      The paint runs and blurs a lot and generally looks like a mess, but I'm still incredibly pleased. Okay, the final piece of this dream is to defend myself against the authorities with kung-fu. I turn around, expecting an enemy... and find myself face to face with a pale, doughy guy in his 40s. He's wearing glasses and is dressed in brown slacks and a rather tight white cardigan that emphasizes his belly and spindly arms.

      "So you're 'the authorities'?" I ask, trying to lead him to say yes.

      "Certainly," he says curtly in a British accent. He stares proudly back at me.

      Immediately I try to do some "kung-fu" on him. I do this atrocious little low kick that clips the side of his left knee. Then I throw another little kick that misses entirely. This time I scream something like, "A-GOCK!!" to make it seem more like I'm doing kung-fu. It comes out really shrieky but the effect is kung-fuey. My opponent does an awkward little hopping kick that misses by a mile. We both kick at the same time and kind of clash feet. We keep throwing these terrible little kicks at each other and I keep shrieking "A-GOCK!!" Finally my awful little kicks get the better of his awful little kicks and he seems to lose interest, and after a moment wanders away entirely.

      I take another self-congratulatory look back at the Great Wall and then let myself
      wake up before I forget anything.
    11. The Royal Australian Navy

      by , 08-17-2013 at 10:41 PM
      This is the second dream from a pair of lucids that I had last night.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #133: The Royal Australian Navy

      I'm outside helping my friend "The Schwartz" throw a bunch of random junk into a dumpster by an apartment complex. We heave a big box of rusted old crap into the dumpster "Are you sure they'll take all of this stuff?" I ask.

      "Sure," he says. "This dumpster's always moving around to different places in the city. That must mean they come to take the garbage out of it." I nod, accepting this. But when I look into the dumpster, I see a shipping pallet that I'm planning to bust into pieces next week (in waking life.) I can't understand how it would have gotten mixed in with The Schwartz's stuff. I nose pinch reality check and
      become lucid.

      "This is a dream," I tell him. The Schwartz frowns thoughtfully and nods his head. For some reason, I decide to give him a password as if this were some kind of shared dreaming experiment. "I'm going to give you a password."

      "A password?"

      "Yeah." I consider explaining but decide not to. I no longer even know why I'm doing this. "The password is butterfly." He nods again, not particularly interested.

      Okay, time to get out there and do something with this. I look up at the sky and see a huge, awkward bird flying by that looks like a pelican. I try to fly but for some reason I don't budge.

      I notice that the pelican flew right by a cluster of very weird objects floating in the sky -- the cab of an 18-wheeler, a barrel, and other random objects like that. I focus on the objects, expecting myself to rise, and this time it's no problem. In a few seconds, I'm about a hundred feet in the air.

      As I look out over the landscape, I expect for there to be an ocean nearby. It works better than expected -- there's a huge, sparkling sea laid out in front of me! It's packed with military vessels, probably about two dozen destroyers.

      Each of the destroyers has an emblem of the American flag on its hull. I think that this flag should be Australian for Australia's Task of the Year. The flag changes as soon as I think this, switching to what I believe at the time is the Australian flag. (But is actually the UK flag, oops. )

      I'm amused that the flags changed to be "just so", and I'm laughing as I fly past the ships to the open sea. I want to start the Great Barrier Reef task, so I plunge straight into the water at high speed. For some reason, though, my vision goes black when I hit the water. I can still feel myself swimming, though, so I keep paddling "underwater" in a pseudo-breast stroke. I probe at my body while continuing to swim, but eventually the feeling of water subsides. After a while,
      the dream ends entirely.
    12. Oceanfront Property

      by , 08-15-2013 at 09:12 PM
      This was the second of two lucid dreams from last night. I'm excited about this new Great Barrier Reef teleport, even if it is very glitch at this point!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #131: Oceanfront Property

      I'm walking through a university when I encounter the same male twins from my previous dream. They're dressed just as before and again they stare wordlessly at me. I remember this from the previous dream and become lucid.

      "Who are you?" I ask them.

      The twin in glasses only says, "Be careful out there," and together they walk off down the path behind me.

      I immediately remember my intention to explore the Great Barrier Reef and leap up into the air to fly. I soar over a few buildings toward a shipping yard filled with shipping crates and huge cranes. I know that I have to be close to the ocean. Somehow the dream loses cohesiveness for a moment and I'm thrown into the void.

      Rubbing my hands together, I think of what my fastest way to the Great Barrier Reef will be. After giving my dream body a quick probe, I pinch my nose shut and flop backwards like I'm plunging into water. This works incredibly, and almost immediately I'm swimming through clear blue water again, similar to the prior dream. But as I look around, I see that I'm swimming through an underwater version of my bedroom!

      I swim out into the hallway, so surprised to be swimming through my house that I have no idea what to do. I keep colliding with random objects like boxes as I swim and I'm generally nervous about my navigation, so I decide to return to the master bedroom to phase through the window. Hopefully that'll be something like the open sea. I swim back to the window but when I get to the shutters I just bounce off of them. I'm having trouble believing that I can do it or imagining what it will feel like. I make another attempt at it, bounce off again, and worry that I'm going nowhere and that I'll just wake up. Inevitably, this leads me to
      a false awakening in a darkened version of our bedroom.

      Wife has a little "dream checklist" that she's trying to go over with me. "Did you get to the Great Barrier Reef?" she asks, poised to check something off.

      "No," I say, disappointed.

      She frowns. "Did you ask about the meaning of life?" she inquires hopefully. It goes on like this for a while,
      but I don't remember what else happens afterward.

      Updated 08-15-2013 at 09:55 PM by 57387

      Categories
      lucid , task of the year
    13. The Turtle

      by , 08-15-2013 at 09:04 PM
      This was the first of two lucid dreams from last night, and my first serious Great Barrier Reef attempt.

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #130: The Turtle

      I'm swimming in a shallow cove with my 4-year-old son "E". I tell him that he's helping me practice for a planned dream about the Great Barrier Reef and he seems excited to help. We come across a cave just under the waterline, swim into it, and emerge in a cavern where all these other kids are hanging around. I wonder whether all these kids are helping their moms and dads prepare for a Great Barrier Reef dream. This feels strange to me and I become lucid.

      There's either a scene change or a memory gap at this point, because my next memory is of walking by myself through the grounds of a university. I pass two men who stare silently at me as I walk by. They're both in their late 20s and look almost like identical twins, except that one is dressed in a suit while the other wears glasses and a flannel shirt. I think that there's something I need to ask them, but I can't remember what it is. (I think I'd meant to ask them the meaning of life for Task of the Month.)

      Nearby is a plaza with a tall stone column at each of its four corners. Perhaps a dozen DCs are walking around this plaza, looking happy but aimless. I exchange a glance with one tough-looking DC as I walk across the plaza, and something about him just rubs me the wrong way. I take a half-hearted swing at him, as if I'm trying to slap him upside the head. He ducks out of the way, and immediately I wonder why I would do something like that.

      The DC moves aggressively toward me and I move to dissolve this problem that I've caused. I hold up my right hand to the DC and walk casually away, saying, "It's cool." The tension abates and he walks away. Whew.

      I remember my intention to get to the Great Barrier Reef. I hulk-jump high above the Earth, knowing that I'll see water nearby. Sure enough, there's a sparkling blue ocean to my right. As I descend, I notice a cute DC standing in the water, waving at me as she watches me come back down to Earth. As I near the water, I realize that she's Wife!

      Before I can say anything, I plunge into the water. This is one of only a handful of times that I've been underwater in an LD, and I'm pleased to see that I can breathe normally. I try my voice, and it's perfectly clear: "[Wife]! Can you hear me?" There's no reply and I don't see any sign of her. Okay, focus. I need to ride a sea turtle, find a great white shark, and bite it. Without dying. The task feels really intimidating to me but I start searching.

      I swim in random directions for a while until I finally catch sight of a turtle. The turtle has no interest in my company, though, and speeds away from me underwater. I don't have any plan as to how I'm going to catch him, so I just try to swim faster. He kites me along like this for quite a while until
      I have a false awakening in some kind of hospital.

      Wife and I are here trying to improve our dreaming abilities. I'm astounded but pleased that she's interested in dream work now. She tells me that she's trying to hit her REM cycles by setting alarms that correspond with the take-off times for airplanes. Skyler White (from Breaking Bad) walks into our room and starts speaking to Wife in a husky, almost male voice. She's apparently a researcher at this hospital. This all seems strange to me and
      I briefly become lucid before the dream ends.
    14. Map of the World

      by , 08-07-2013 at 08:46 PM
      An insane chain of eight DILDs, DEILDs and false awakenings from this morning. Completely crazy! I apologize for the length, but it was a ton of dreaming. I gave the dreams headings to hopefully make the breaks clear. What a ride!

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #129: Map of the World

      Choline
      I'm standing in the kitchen with Wife as she holds our two-year-old son "R" in her arms. She asks me when I was planning to take my choline bitartrate. When I tell her that I've already taken it, R starts to wail pathetically.

      "How could you take your choline without letting him watch?" she says, annoyed at my apparent thoughtlessness. "You know that he loves that!"

      I'm stammering out some excuse when
      it occurs to me that this has to be a dream. My vision goes a bit crazy and I go more or less blind. I fumble my way around the kitchen, feeling my way from the countertop to the breakfast table and sit down heavily in a chair.

      "Are you okay?" asks Wife. I really think that I'm dreaming but I feel uneasy enough that I nose pinch and blow through. Suddenly, my vision is dominated by a huge still-frame close-up of my own unshaven face shouting something. Other than that, I'm still blind. "Are you okay?" she asks, more insistently this time.


      Highlander
      I have a false awakening back in bed, still suspicious that I'm dreaming. Wife snuggles closer to me and I hit the nose pinch, blowing right through again.

      Wife rolls on top of me and sits up. I feel excited about where things seem to be going but rather than doing anything amorous she starts saying strange stuff about the Highlander series of movies: "Did you know that Michael let us borrow Highlander I through XV? I didn't even know there were fifteen. He and [female name] love those movies."


      The Full Xanous
      Another false awakening back in bed, and I roll out immediately. My vision is very blurry and the whole dream scene feels wobbly to me. I think that I need to get myself anchored in and I remember my intention to try the technique of "making out with the dream scene", suggested (jokingly) by DarkMatters and put into practice by Xanous. I'd promised to try to test this so I could talk about it on a future podcast.

      I move around to Wife's side of the bed. I briefly that I can test this method by just making out with Wife instead, but I realize that I'm just telling myself that as an excuse to get frisky with her. Instead I attack the corner of the mattress, totally making out with it. The sheets feel like t-shirt material against my tongue. After a moment, all sensation disappears, and
      I'm awake, my mouth kind of moving around. (In waking life, I believe. Pretty embarrassing. )

      22:48
      I DEILD into a bedroom scene and roll out. The computer monitor on the nearby desk is on, which it rarely is. The computer is showing the old Windows XP "Bliss" background with the grassy hill. The computer's clock reads "22:48".

      I want to get out of the house, so I try to dive through the window. It feels oddly gummy, though, and I wind up with my torso stuck through the window. On the other side I just see blackness. I decide to back out, imagine a new scene, and try again. I'm about to make another run at it when I sort of fall back into...


      Amazon
      A false awakening where I'm lounging on a window seat in a sunlit room. A group of three women are standing nearby, laughing and chatting over stories about their kids. I nose pinch reality check (blowing through) and get up from the couch. As I stand up to my full height, I notice that one of the women is really tall (probably about six feet even) and very fit. As I walk nearby, she turns to look at me -- long brown hair, probably mid-30s, and very good-looking.

      She starts walking toward me and it occurs to me that if I don't get away, the dream's probably ending in this room. As she joins me by the window, my quick internal deliberation ends in a verdict of "worth it". After about 20 seconds of making out,
      I wake up.

      The King of the Colosseum
      I quickly DEILD into a scene where I'm standing in my bedroom. It's very dark, so I let the void overtake me and start rubbing my hands together. I get onto my hands and knees and feel the floor, imagining sand between my fingers, thinking that the Colosseum is all around me. After a while, I can see the sand, and then the stone walls of a huge chamber. It's not the Colosseum I see, though, but more like a huge throne room with no ceiling. It's close, but just not quite right.

      At the other end of the room, a cartoon king sits on his throne. He's a slimy-looking Jafar lookalike dressed in flowing red robes, and I think that he'll make the perfect opponent for Europe Task of the Year (the Colosseum battle.) As soon as I decide this, he lunges from his throne and charges toward me, a scimitar in his hand.

      As he closes the distance, I decide to summon NewArtemis to help with the fight. "Jafar" is moving too fast, though, and he's practically on top of me before I can even start the summoning. Not even close, I'm on my own. I try to swing a sword at him, but in spite of my expectations, my hand is empty. My movement seems to surprise him, though, and as he stands there unsure of how to react, I grab his hair with my left hand and strike him hard on the side of the neck with the edge of my right hand.

      His head pops cleanly off in my left hand. There's no gore involved, and the injury doesn't seem to slow him down much. The head spouts a series of angry curses at me before suddenly changing into the head of penguin. This shocks me into...


      Map of the World
      Another false awakening in my bedroom. I decide to get out of the house the direct way this time, running out of the master bedroom, vaulting over the baby gates as I move down the stairs (both gates higher than in waking life), and phasing through the back door into the yard. It's early morning now, and the pool has overflowed into the now-swampy back yard. Random objects like boxes and beach balls float in its waters. Floodlights are strung up in the trees all around me, shining brightly down on the yard.

      I marvel at these changes before hopping over the fence. Rather than the neighbor's yard, I find myself in a construction site near a pile of steel girders. I try to fly, but I can't seem to get off of the ground. I walk for a while, moving past a cage composed of chainlink fencing where they're holding some kind of Little League practice. As I pass by, the kids and parents keep trying to talk to me about baseball, but I ignore them, trying to stay focused on the Colosseum.

      As I walk further on, I somehow end up on a ledge on the side of a building, high above the city, with nowhere to go. I try to fly again, and this time it's easy. I shoot upward to an incredible height, moving all the way past the clouds, higher and higher until I can see the world laid out under me like a map. Some of the continents are even labeled in flowing calligraphy. I pick a spot below me, deciding it's the Colosseum, and fly downward. I'm shocked, though, when I land after flying only a few feet downward. Now I'm standing on an enormous stone floating through space. The "world" has disappeared entirely, and I'm walking on a painted mural of the Earth.

      With nowhere to go, I suddenly remember the success that bemistaken just had with closing her eyes and mentally teleporting. I close my eyes, imagining the Colosseum. Without meaning to, I think of the possibility that I'll wake up when I open my eyes. I'm really worried about this, and I start hurrying. This flows into...


      Commercial Break
      A false awakening in what looks like an office kitchen. It's the early morning and Wife is here with me eating a bowl of cereal and watching a small, staticky television set. On it, two Russian men are arguing about photo editing software.

      "Sorry if I woke you," she says. "I knew you'd want to see this!"

      "I wish you'd let me sleep," I whine. "I was having a lucid dream."

      "Oh really?" she says. "It sounded like something erotic was happening."

      I think of saying something like "I only made out a little with a six-foot-tall woman" but this doesn't seem like much of a defense. So I just say, "Well, that's embarrassing."

      "Ew," she says, wrinkling her nose and going back to her television program. I finally
      nose pinch, realizing that the teleport didn't wake me up at all! All of this was expectation. I get excited thinking about this, and the dream falls apart, finally ending this crazy chain of dreams...
    15. Donkey Kong Junior

      by , 07-29-2013 at 10:39 PM
      Very well-meaning but flawed attempt at the North America Task of the Year. (The King Kong one!)

      Color legend: Non-dream Dream Lucid

      Lucid #128: Donkey Kong Junior

      I falsely believe that I have a young niece named Emily that's arriving by plane. I'm waiting with Dad in the airport for her and all of the passengers have gotten out with no sign of Emily at all. I'm becoming fretful. Dad isn't very worried and is loudly telling me stories about how thoroughly the new cereal he is eating "cleaned out his colon". I'm very embarrassed by how loudly he's talking and decide I'd rather go look for Emily.

      It's like the old days when you could meet someone at the gate, and I'm allowed to stroll right through the jetway and onto the plane. I walk up and down the rows of seats, but there's no sign of her. But when I double back I find her waiting by a bend in the jetway. She's about 11 or 12, short, blonde, a little pale. I realize that I have never seen her before in my life and
      become lucid.

      There's one of those little doors that leads out to the runway, and I walk through it and start flying toward a city that I see on the horizon. Night either falls quickly or I suffer some kind of memory gap here, because I land at a parking lot in a cluster of buildings. There's some sort of party going on with loud music bleeding out into the parking lot. There are a lot of people milling around in the parking lot itself, and some of them start following me.

      I spot my friend "RF" as part of the nearby group and I tell him to "check this out" as I approach one of the parked cars. I decide that the car is as light as an inflatable balloon, lift it, and turn it over on its side.

      RF looks stunned and asks me how I did that. I tell him that you just pretend something is the way that you want and you usually find that it is. I become sort of boastful and start showing off. "Look at this car. If I decide that it tastes like cake, it will." I take a huge bite out of one of the tires and it's pretty good! Tastes like a fairly decent birthday cake. Several other people in the crowd join in, taking bites out of the car here and there. I spot my high school friend "Alf" in the crowd, and he makes some remark about how cool this is. Pretty soon, a huge crowd of DCs has surrounded the car and started to devour it. It's cool to watch them consume the car but also vaguely disturbing. Reminds me a bit of a Walking Dead zombie feed.

      RF and I walk away from the car along the sidewalk, reaching a building with the mural of a skyscraper painted on it. I suddenly remember the North America "Empire State Building" Task of the Year. The mural doesn't look quite like the Empire State Building, but I decide that I'm going to start climbing it and then turn it into the Empire State Building as I go. I tell RF this is for "Task of the Year" and he says "Go for it." I latch myself to the mural like Spider-Man and start climbing up the wall. It feels really forced at first, but the more I get into it, the more it feels like I'm scaling the side of a tall building.

      And now here I am, clinging to the side of the Empire State Building, the wind pulling at my clothes and body. I'm trying to remember what the Task of the Year even involves.
      (I'm supposed to transform into King Kong, climb to the top, and fight with the military.) I feel a little frustrated with my memory, so I decide that I want to get inside and think about what I'm supposed to be doing. I either enter an open window or phase through a closed one, winding up in a small, quiet marble elevator lobby.

      There's an elevator waiting here, and I step inside. It only goes up to "9", and I wince that this is not nearly high enough for the Empire State Building. I press "9", assuming that there will be a new bank of elevators I can take at that point which will bring me all the way up. The elevator begins its ascent and I pace nervously, worrying that I'm buying too much into the mechanics of the dream. I can't remember whether I'm supposed to be ascending normally, climbing the building, or what, so I just go with it.

      The elevator doors open on "9" and I step out into a lobby that looks much like the previous one. There's a bulky, square-jawed maintenance man in overalls here. "Hey!" he shouts. "You're not supposed to be here!" With that, he winds up like a baseball pitcher and throws a large crescent wrench right at my head. It clonks straight into my forehead and drops into my right hand. My forehead tingles a bit, but there's no serious pain.

      Somehow I now have a wrench in both hands. I feel angry with the guy for attacking me. "You're an asshole!" I inform him and throw both wrenches at his stomach. They bounce off of his torso and he doubles over, glaring at me but not seriously hurt. I feel a little bad and have no interest in going to war with this guy, so I dash into another elevator, stab at a button without looking, "knowing" that it leads to the viewing platform.

      Again I wait, and soon the elevator opens up to an open-air room that looks a bit like a bell tower. There's a guy in a lab coat here explaining some scientific breakthrough about lycanthropy and animal transformations in general. I run past him along a plank to a balcony. Now I want to transform into King Kong. I look to my left and there's another skyscraper, even taller than the "Empire State Building" that I'm standing on. On top of this other building stands the cheesiest-looking Godzilla-style lizard monster I've ever seen, and I can't help but chuckle. Looks like all the movie monsters are out and about today.



      I start hopping about like a gorilla and imagine myself transforming into King Kong. In my craziness, I manage to leap off of the building. Rather than a fall, there's an odd transition and now I'm just running along a tree-lined street below, roaring like a gorilla and pounding my chest. The chest-pounding feels a little phony but the gorilla roars are amazing. My hands and arms look big and gorilla-like, but I'm not nearly large or hairy enough to be King Kong. I feel more like a big, strong, long-armed dude with a gorilla roar.

      Some DCs rush up to attack me, but they're all just regular men in casual street clothes. I shove them away, remembering that I need to get attacked somehow and win, but I'm very confused as to the details. I take a few swats at these DCs and amusingly, they go flying off whenever I hit them. I know that something's off with all of this, though, and that I need to be a lot bigger, I need to be up on top of the building, and I think I need to fight something tougher. The details are really hazy, though, so I just lumber around for a while longer amusing myself until
      the dream ends.
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