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    task of the month

    task of the month dreams

    1. September 25th TOTM

      by , 11-03-2014 at 09:29 PM
      I'm at work and apparently I drove my car, which I now need to park somewhere and I'd rather like not to have to pay for parking, so I drive off south looking for somewhere I can park on the road. The road very rapidly starts feeling like an out of town road. I even consider parking in the entrance of a wheat field, but decide that I've driven too far from the office to walk back without being late for work, so I turn bank.

      As I head back toward the office, I get lost and the roads don't look familiar, so I check on the satnav feature of my phone and realise where I went wrong. I'm on a road called the T3. I retrace my path again and end up coming through a whole bunch of narrow pedestrianised areas that eventually become inside. At some point, my car has become a motorbike.

      At one point, my path seems to go over a very narrow footbridge - too narrow for me to go across without all the pedestrians getting out of my way. I consider going through the water underneath as it's very shallow, but am put off by a combination of the idea of driving a motorbike over what will probably be a very slippery surface, and the fact that the shallow water is teaming with tiny sharks!

      I turn around and am briefly sidelined by some confusion about whether I'm supposed to be pedaling or not and when I pay attention to navigation again, I'm indoors in something like the mailbox in Birmingham (a mostly indoor collection of shops, restaurants, flats, hotels...) So I get off the bike and push it through. As I head down some stairs there's a scuffle going on between two blokes and one of them kicks out at me so I take his shoe off and throw it over the banister.

      We argue a bit and I get bored of that and start looking for the way out. I end up in a cinema where the film is about to start but the adverts are still playing. I try to keep out of people's line of sight as I look for the exit.

      I see that a section of wall looks like a screen but I realise somehow is actually a holographic protection covering an exit from the cinema. I step into it and as I do I realise it's just the entrance into the toilets but this is too cool not to investigate!

      As I step through the screen, my view is replaced by a cartoon like facsimile of both myself and the scenery. I go down some stairs watching my cumbersome cartoonish feet on the steps and feeling how the view and the feeling are just fractionally out of synch because the cartoon view is drawn with slightly wobbly lines and not quite right angle corners. At the bottom of the stairs, I see a mirror in which I can see my cartoon self reflected. Apparently the system has decided to draw me like a rakishly thin Walter White, complete with the fedora like hat and sunglasses. I notice that I'm actually wearing a beanie hat and cardboard 3D glasses and am impressed that the system has identified what I'm wearing and created a cartoon replica that reflects that but not slavishly.

      I notice in the mirror that there a chap behind me to the left who I think is part of the behind the scenes functioning of the illusion but somehow my 3D glasses let me see him vaguely. We chat a little bit about how cool the illusion is and he asks if I've looked at my hands yet, saying they usually have six fingers but they're still working on the rendering of that part. I look at my left hand and it looks like two images of a hand superimposed, both hands have long fingers, one with then curved to the left, one with then curved to the right. The overall impression is of far more fingers than I'm used to!

      I switch to looking at my right hand. At first it looks fairly normal, though I notice I seem to have coloured felt tip pen markings. As I look a little harder, I realise that several of my fingers terminate with a further bifurcation into sub-fingers. I note that the sub fingers are made by duplicating my hand in miniature on the fingertips, though how complete the mini hand is varies from a couple of stubby blob like digits to a complete hand from the wrist up. I wiggle my fingers and delight in setting my teeny little subdigits doing their thing.

      I decide to wash my hands and note that the pen markings come off very easily - perhaps they were illusory? The chap also washes his hands and while he goes off to the other side of the room to dry them I'm smugly satisfied that my magic glasses allow me to see there's a hand drier directly under the sink.

      I head back up the stairs watching my goofy feet again, then turn a different way out of the cinema, ducking down to avoid blocking anyone's view again.

      At this point, I have a micro awakening and managed to almost pull off a DEILD but wasn't quite lucid when I reentered the dream.

      I'm in what looks like a dingy but dry basement or hidden storage area of an office building so I resume my mission to get to work on time having somehow sorted out the issue of parking. I realise that it's a long way up to the 25th floor where my office is but there's no lift in sight. I start on my way up a helix (*not* a spiral!) of platforms around the walls of the space. After about one storey of climbing, I come across some people working at desks spread out on the bare concrete floor. They give me disapproving looks as I climb over their desks and filling cabinets to get to to the next part of the building. As I climb off the top of a shelf full of boxes, I enter something much more like a house with large white gloss painted doors. Lots of corridors and small rooms give a general labyrinthine feel to the layout.

      I come into a room that feels like a living area in somebody's home. There's a chap sitting at a table and a couple of figures I don't really look at but I take to be his children sitting around on the floor and sofas.

      At this point, I GET LUCID! Though I have an of feeling that I more realised that I was already lucid (weird, huh?). I say to the guy at the table that if this is a dream then I should try to do my tasks, right? He looks a little confused but plays along. I remember that one of the TOTMs is to put shoes on and tie the laces. I ask the chap if I can borrow some shoes to do the task and he reaches around to get a shoebox from behind the table. Inside are an assortment of odd shoes from which I manage to pick out a pair of red baseball pumps. I fish out a black gym dap from inside the left shoe and put it on. I notice that the laces aren't looped into the eyes of the shoe properly and I don't fancy my chances of sorting that out in dreamland without cheating, but they are in place enough that I can try to tie a bow. I tie a bow in the left shoe laces with surprising ease and as I finish it off I realise that the laces are now correctly threaded through the eyes. Handy. I repeat the process (complete with removing another shoe from inside the one I'm trying to put on) and while I'm doing it, ask of the guy has any fortune cookies. He looks surprised again as if it's a huge coincidence that I want fortune cookies when he happens to have a bowl of them on the table! I explain that this is my deam so if I want fortune cookies, I get fortune cookies. He seems to be mostly satisfied with that but still looks a little unsure.

      I shove a cookie in my mouth, it tastes and feels like a stale prawn cracker. I try to pull the paper slip out of the cookie while I bite it and after a few false starts manage to get a bit of paper but it doesn't have anything intelligible written on it. I take another cookie and more carefully bite it open to get to the fortune. This time the fortune is a tea stain coloured mah jiang tile with a Chinese symbol I don't recognise on it. Frustrated at my second attempt being thwarted by a lack of language skills, I decide that I *do* know Chinese and have another look at the symbol. I realise that it means "Fortune" and figure that's good enough! :-)

      Next up, I want to try the toilet portal. I go through a couple of doors and find a large white porcelain appliance of a style in fitting with the late Victorian feel of the house. I pull the chain and jump into the bowl. Unfortunately, all that achieves is soggy feet. I try going in head first in a dive but chicken out because the porcelain feels intimidatingly solid!

      I give up on the toilet bowl (I should have thought to shrink myself but hey) and scan around for something else to do. I remember that Sensei's competition back in July had a task to transform a DC and decide to give that a go. I go back to the room with the table guy and children and look at a skinny girl who looks about twelve. I tell her to raise her arms sideways and grow some more arms. That seems to work quite well, she now has six arms, though the four extra ones coming out of her armpits are a little small and underformed. Inspired by the slightly odd appearance of the new arms, I decide to see if I can make one of them form into something more impressive.

      I will the fingers of one of the new arms to grow downward, which they obligingly do. The thumb of the hand also extends and becomes a head while the descending fingers become a body and legs. Eventually there are two girls looking like conjoined twins who share an arm. Shame I didn't manage that during the competition, eh?
    2. September 18th TOTM - patronum

      by , 11-03-2014 at 11:14 AM
      I attempt a WBTB WILD. I'm pretty sure there was a gap in consciousness, but as the dream scene forms around me, I know it's a dream.

      In front of me is a box/cage formed from metal bands. I decide to phase my way into the cage and back out again. The bands of metal bend with me a bit before flopping back into place like rubber bands. I remember that one of the tasks in the dream competition was to phase through something solid with eyes open so I look around for a suitable target.

      I'm in an abandoned building, bits of it feel like a multistory car park, but some bits feel like they used to be an office building. I see a wooden door and go to phase through it, I almost forget to keep my eyes open, but remember as I get to the door. The inside of the wood is a interesting combination of woody and transparent, the dark bands of the grain still visible and the light bands feel like air. As I come through the far side of the door, some of the grain bands stick to me for a bit before falling back into place like a bead curtain.

      My recall is a bit vague about the next transition of scene, as I didn't bother to write anything down until the morning (bad boy!)

      I'm at some kind of conference centre eager to get out and do some lucid dream tasks. I'm in an area outside the main auditorium room with hordes of people on their way in. I spot Jo McCaffery who's exited because she's going to be doing a presentation as part of the session and wants me to be there for moral support and feedback. I'm torn because I really want to do that for her but I also don't want to miss out on my lucid dream time. I'm just starting to follow the flow of delegates when I realise it's not actually her, but a DC, so it really doesn't matter! Lucid dreaming tasks it is!

      I walk along a road for a bit, chatting with a couple of DCs. I see a door and the word "door" triggers my TOTM mnemonic, based as usual on the Tony Buzan rhyming numbers thing.

      1 - bun. A bun opens just like a fortune cookie.
      2 - shoe. Put some shoes on and don't forget to tie them
      3 - tree. Laying a log in the toilet.
      4 - door. I bet my Patronum is just behind that door!

      I think the door is the back door of a childhood home, inside the conservatory.

      I open the door and there on the quarry tiled floor, snuggled into a nest of blanket, are two crochet stuffed toy bunnies with pig-like snouts (they actually look somewhat like the clangers, but they were definitely bunnies) they look sleepy but seem to like a bit of petting. They're soft and warm and really cute!

      I share my excitement with the random DCs, but it's too much excitement and I wake up with a "squee!"

      Updated 11-03-2014 at 01:01 PM by 69407

      lucid , task of the month
    3. DEID chain leads to learning a new word, robbing a bank, and plastocene eyeballs...

      by , 08-27-2014 at 02:26 PM
      This was a DEILD chain with at least three DEILDs, maybe as many as five.

      I GET LUCID waking down a street in a city centre scene that feels like some parts of Glasgow. I float into the air as an RC, then try to fly higher because flying more impressively is one of my dream goals.

      I notice that a DC has risen into the air with me, a dark haired woman perhaps in her early forties. I float across to her and say "I'd like as conversion with you, if that's OK" then go on to explain that I'm dreaming and that she's not real but I want to find out what she's like. She furrows her brow as I say she's not real as if she's considering whether to be offended. We share another couple of sentences of conversation that I can't remember.

      I come down to ground level to think what to do next. I look at a car thinking of going for a joy ride and note that it's a left hand drive like in another recent dream, so I decide I'd rather find a right hand drive car. I floatalong the street looking at a variety of weird cars, mostly looking like concept cars, but including several just plain surreal ones (one has a shaggy coat of wires, another is a small house with wheels...)

      I realise I ought to be thinking of the TOTMs, so I go through the mantra "foreign banana, eye castle, tease" (I replaced the bonus TOTM with the dare I was recently dared, because it sounded more fun!)

      I look across the street to see another DC on the pavement on the other side of the street, a shabby looking blonde woman probably in her 50s. I ask her for a foreign word and its meaning, but she wants to bustle past me. I say "well I'm going to stop you because this is my dream and I'm in charge" I accost her as she's about to enter her house. When she realises in not going to let her go without my word, she says "koinu" and I ask her what it means. "Go away / go home" is the reply, which I guess I had coming...

      The next task is to rob a bank using only a banana. I put my hand out palm up with a deliberate gesture to conjure up a banana. I get a tiny yellow dot in my palm, about the size of a lentil. I decide that's probably not intimidating enough, so I decide to try another tactic. I make another conjuring gesture at the pavement to conjure up a giant banana attack dog. I get a rather blobby banana-like dog who also doesn't look all that impressive. I stretch out his snout to make it look a little more aggressive with limited success. I realise I still have the pill sized banana in my other hand, so I throw it to the ground and it becomes another banana dog, this one smaller but at least a little more angular and aggressive looking.

      I head into the bank and shout that everyone should keep back as I have attack bananas!

      People seem suitably nervous at first, but as I go through the bank looking for a cashier to take money from, the general feel turns into one of normal interaction, as if my attack bananas have made their point and the staff are all happy to just go about the business of finding me some money to steal. At the back of the bank is a large table positively groaning with bank notes. The bank notes are tiny, about a third the size of a credit card, and very simply designed, a bit like monopoly money. I ask the chap counting and sorting the money to put as much as he could in a Tupperware sitting on the table for me and he obliges. I note that these tiny notes include some really huge denominations of thousands of pounds, so a small Tupperware of then is still a major haul. The chap hands over the cash and I head out.

      I have a long interlude here with almost no lucidity during which I read a very surreal psychedelic concept art book that my dad had lying around. The story seems to mostly relate a relationship between the main protagonist and his girlfriend, who he meets when she's about eight, and they have a difficult life trying to work out how to go about a relationship when the book seems to have started too early in their lives. The protagonist (who I identify with enough that at one point I'm living the story rather than reading it) had a weird experience of trying to work or how old his "girlfriend" is and if it's non-creepy yet for him to fancy her. Eventually, she gains boobies and he decides that makes it OK. She gets pregnant and the couple split up and feel very miserable about the while situation as if they blame the author of the book for making their lives suck. I loved the book, but my dad says he never really liked it.

      I start looking for a mirror to watch myself pull my eyeballs out. I see the Shire Hall in Shrewsbury, and outside is a rather pitiful Lord Hill's Column, about 18" of column and 6" of Lord Hill. I figure there might be a nice big mirror in the reception, so I start to head inside. The entrance turns out to be blocked with hundreds of shopping trolleys, which keeps me snared up for quite a while. Eventually, I find myself inside at a large mirror and stare at myself trying to remember how I was planning to pull my eyeballs out. I try poking my fingers behind my left eyeball (I'm less find of my left eye because it's crap) and try to retain my view through the eyeball as I remove it. I think the sight acts as an anchor keeping the eyeball in place as I'm so used to my perspective being from my eyeballs' customary position! I decide it might be more successful to try sucking my eyeball out with the palm of my hand, blocking my view as I do so.

      After a couple more unsuccessful attempts, I pull my hand away to see that my reflection has become oddly distorted, as if made a bit ineptly out of plastocene. I do note, however, that one eyeball is protruding about an inch from my face, and the other is somehow sticking out of my temple. I decide this counts and inspect my eyes in my reflection for a bit. They both look like crappy craftsmanship, but they're definitely my eyes and definitely not in their normal places. I shove them back in and start to think about the next TOTM - find Howl's castle.

      I try looking around for a giant insect like walking castle, and even try to conjure one up, but then I remember that the magic door can be a way in as well was a way out, so I look for interesting looking doors to find the inside of the castle through. I spot a door that looks tempting, it's small and characterful, so I go to open it. There are two or three street urchins lurking by the door and they keep getting in my way. I pull the door open to find shorter door behind it, then a manhole cover, then another door...

      Eventually I wake up for a final time and a twitch as I'm just about to attempt another DEILD spoils it for me :-(

      Updated 08-27-2014 at 08:34 PM by 69407 (I really need to remember to proof read before clicking post)

      lucid , task of the month