Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Dreams

“Dreams are real as long as they last. Can we say more of life?”
Henry Ellis

I don’t place any stock in dream interpretation, that is, not the interpretations offered in the thick tomes found in the New Age section of my bookstore.

Last night I had a dream involving my teeth falling out, Michael Shermer, and a fear of heights.

I’ll spare you the gory details!

Have you had any memorable dreams of late?

Do you have any recurring dreams?

Have you ever had anyone try to push an interpretation on your dreams?

Karen Stollznow

Karen Stollznow

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51 Comments

  1. July 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm —

    Dreams are a very important subject to me because I have intensely violent, distubing nightmares. If someone were to come up with “interpretations” of them, I would probably be locked up.

    After being outed as an atheist, I’ve dreamed about my family locking me into a re-education camp for Christianity. Sometimes I lead a revolt and escape. I’ve also dreamed of debates and arguments with my family, sometimes ending with repeatedly punching my grandmother in the face.

    I also have post-apocalyptic dreams about shooting lots of people and running a gang in the ruins of civilization.

    The only exception to these violent dreams are sexual dreams with nocturnal orgasm, which I have every 3-4 days if I don’t have an orgasm by other means.

    Otherwise, I’m a very happy-go-lucky person! :)

  2. July 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm —

    I had a dream a few weeks ago about a manned mission to Uranus. By manned mission I mean there was one guy in a space suit floating through space while I had sort of a God’s eye position near Uranus telling him where to go. The astronaut couldn’t figure it out so I took over and landed on the surface of the planet, only to find out that it was actually a giant glass bottle of vinaigrette, complete with a huge cork at the top. I awoke debating whether or not this was proof of some sort of God. Also, there was something about an antique store. Weirdest dream I’ve had in years.

  3. July 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm —

    The best dream I ever had was when I was 40, leaving paganism after 12 yrs, I had been christian for 28 yrs before that, and had just discovered Penn & Teller (which was leading to skepticism, Randi, Dawkins, etc):

    The dream took place in a very modern church. No pews but chairs, not the folding kind but padded. No stained glass but a lot of windows and standing plants near them. One big room and many small rooms that were open and just a few steps lower than the main room we were in. My grandmother was there. P&T were there but I didn’t see them yet, I just knew they were there. It as a prayathon; basically you stay awake for twenty-four hours and pray for at least five minutes every hour for whatever people have asked you to pray for. The dream skips ahead a bit here. It’s early morning, that early morning gray silver dusk light coming through all the windows. The chairs are gone and there are a lot of small beds and cots. It’s very quiet. Penn and I are sharing a bed. We’re just chatting quietly. We’re both wearing shorts and t-shirts, he has a baseball cap on. I don’t know where my Gram went to but I know she is still there. Same with Teller (my guess is he’s under the bed trying to tunnel out). There is a small area at the back of the large room (which we are in and near) that has a counter and is selling drinks and candy and the like (I have no idea why something like that would be in the main room of a church no matter how modern it is). Penn gets up and buys us sodas, chocolate and teaberry gum. The woman behind the counter is my mother (at about age 30-35, which made me older than her). She’s glaring at both Penn and I. That’s all I remember.

    The “symbolism” in this dream is, for me, very obvious, which made it very cool.

  4. July 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm —

    Often I have dreams that beat me over the head with symbolism or dreams that very clearly contrived to pose a clear choice that I wouldn’t have been able to decide before going to sleep. I know it is just my brain working through ideas, and that is what I like about it. If these were actual predictions or projections of another part of the world than it would ruin all the fun.

  5. July 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm —

    I had a dream last week that my husband, my son and I were living back in our first apartment. It was way too small. My son ended up having enough stuff to completely fill the apartment so my husband and I slept in the hall. I think the meaning behind that dream is pretty obvious; my son has too much crap.

    I have a friend that always tries to interpret my dreams for me. She has a book that she looks up all the parts of my dream in. Usually the “meanings” make less sense than the dreams and I have some pretty crazy dreams. My weirdest dream ever was that my husband was having an affair with our gay neighbors and I came home to them doing something that involved several alligators and a bottle of root beer.

  6. July 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm —

    Reading the scientific research regarding dreams is always interesting, because even now we really don’t know much about them or why we have them. One thing we are pretty sure of is that the probably don’t “mean” anything at all. I often compare dreams to tarot card readings. You lay out the cards and you get a randomly generated collection of images that don’t really mean anything, so you impose a narrative on them, and the person being read says, “yeah, yeah, I do have an aunt that has cancer. That totally makes sense! And I have been under a lot of stress at work lately!” Dreams are much the same.

    I used to have a recurring nightmare about being randomly eviscerated by strange women. I would be talking to a mysterious (always different) woman and she would pull out a big knife and slice my belly open (I know… so freudian!). My guts would be spilling out and I would try to get someone to help me, my boyfriend/best friend/family member to drive me to the hospital because I was literally holding my insides in, and they would invariably tell me to stop being a baby, stop trying to get attention, stop being such a drama queen, etc. “Can’t you see I’m busy here?!? Everybody Loves Raymond is on!”

    Thankfully, I never have that dream anymore. Sadly, I also no longer have the dream where I am a secret agent/vampire hunter.

  7. July 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm —

    I can’t remember a dream I’ve had that someone might think was a nightmare. At least nothing I find frightening either in the dream or when I wake up.

    Since high school, I have had a recurring dream where I am wandering around the city looking for something, like on a scavenger hunt. I’m usually in a car, and usually with someone. Sometimes I’m with someone I know. Sometimes, I’m with a complete stranger. Sometimes, I’m with a clown… yes… a clown (makeup, strange clothes, red nose, etc) Occasionally, there are also people after me. In at least one version of the dream, the police were after me. I never actually find what I’m looking for, but most of my efforts in the dream are finding ways to get around town (the car breaks down a lot) and escaping any of those chasing me.

    I’ve always found them to be extremely interesting, even the ones where people are after me, to the point where when I wake up I’m disappointed that the dream ended. I find them rather thrilling and fun. I’ve had more than a few people take a stab at interpreting them, but no one who could be considered an ‘expert’ or anything. The various diagnoses run the spectrum from the conclusion that I’m a really strange person to extremely well adjusted.

    Personally, I don’t care why I’m having the dream(s), but I kinda hope I keep having them because they’re fun, except I always wake up in the middle and don’t really accomplish anything.

    On the other hand, I think I WOULD like to know what the clown means… That really confuses me sometimes.

  8. July 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm —

    I have a memorable dream in which I died via an explosion, along with this girl I knew. Something about I had to die or else everyone else would die, don’t remember the story 100%, though. I thought it would be painful, but instead, I felt some heat and then nothingness. I literally asked myself if I was dead right before slowwly waking up from the darkness. I think there were a few tears and lots of sweat when I woke up. Yeah, this dream was weeeiirrdd. Strangely enough, it wasn’t really nightmarish.

    Another one was where I was going through a city, and while it felt like I was traveling around, there is always some weird gap of how I would arrive from one location to another.

    As for a recurring dream, when I was a kid, dreams where I was driving would occur somewhat frequently, which was weird, because at that point, I did not have any aspiration in driving.

    @swordsbane
    I also am disappointed when a dream ends. ^_^

  9. July 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm —

    My first year in college (back about 4 years or so) I had two weird dreams that I still remember.
    In the first one, I was a werewolf, but instead of turning on the full moon I turned at odd times (like, mid-afternoon on a Tuesday, or something). I didn’t actually experience that, I just ‘knew’ it. One night, whilst traveling along in lupine form (semi-lupine, I should say), I traveled into a field with a hill in the middle of it. At the top of the hill were two beasts. The first beast was a giant yak, about the size of an elephant. The other was a cow, normal sized, except that it had a mouth full of long sharp teeth, drooling blood, and its eyes were gold (literally gold) except for vertical, red rectangular strips that I assumed were its pupils. When I saw them, I felt myself change back to human, and then the cow stepped towards me, I shuddered, and woke up.

    In the other dream, which happened within a month of that first one, I was hanging around with a few of those Honeycomb(TM) monsters (the ones that say “Honeycomb, Honeycomb, ME WANT HONEYCOMB” in the commercials). One of them asked me “Hey Bob, don’t you have to wake up early for an exam tomorrow?” To which I replied, “I don’t have to be up until 8:00.” Then one asked me “Well, what time is it now?” And I woke up, looked at my clock and said out loud, “It’s only 6:30.” I then realized what had just happened and hoped my roommate hadn’t heard.
    Those were the weirdest ones I can remember.

  10. July 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm —

    I once had a dream with closing credits. That was odd.

    Once my roommate heard me yelling, “Yeeehooo! Yeeeeehooo! Yeeeehoo!” in my sleep. I was dreaming that I was riding the bomb down in Dr. Strangelove. That was odd.

    Does anyone else ever wake up completely nude when you know you went to sleep with clothes on?

    HJ

  11. July 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm —

    @BingMcGhandi:
    That did happen to me once! It was very disconcerting.

  12. July 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm —

    As a kid, I used to have a recurring nightmare that I was being chased through a network of underground caves by Bizarro Superman. When I turned to confront him, his face sunk into his skull like a rotten pumpkin, and he fell over. I then found myself in a room with no doors or windows, containing a single cot, and a light bulb hanging from a wire in the center of the ceiling. I would lie down, and the room would spin rapidly centered around the light. I would wake from this scared shitless for some reason.

    I tried to interpret this on one of those dream sites, but had zero luck. Bizarro Superman with Rotting Face seems to be hard to figure.

  13. July 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm —

    @swordsbane: On the other hand, I think I WOULD like to know what the clown means… That really confuses me sometimes.

    You seem to have three categories of passengers: friends, strangers, and clowns. Friends and strangers are pretty obvious. Clowns would be the people you know, but who you wouldn’t consider friends in any sense of the word. The girl at the checkout counter is your friend in this case. Your evil boss from yesterjob is a clown.

    They are a clown not because you think they are funny, but because you distance yourself from them using humor. This approach keeps you, what’s the word, modest or gracious when dealing with people you disagree with.

    With whom you disagree. Sorry.

    The dream itself is about finding things you need on your life journey, the problems that come up, and the people you find yourself sharing the journey with at any particular point. Being chased is your own emotions mucking up the journey. (Or making it more interesting, as the case may be.)

    The reason for dreams like that is that our brain/mind is trying to figure out what it means to be free. “What do I need?” Those who dream about the destination being kindness, honor, or luck are free and sharing that freedom with others. Dreamers who’s goal are health, wealth, or respect might be less free than they think.

    … I think it’s pretty cool that your journey can happen with those clowns.

    @ Afternoon Inquisition: He totally gave an opening for the dream analysis. It’s fun because I can pretend I’m smart and I can’t be wrong!!

  14. July 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm —

    I recently had a rather vivid dream, and I rarely have ones that are memorable, much less sexual. This one was. It only had three parts. A woman, a cucumber, and a beetle. A couple nights later I dreamed I got a really good two for one deal on allergy medicine.

    The cucumber dream was better.

  15. July 18, 2010 at 9:21 pm —

    @Reverend Kel: Bizarro Superman that rots away when you confront it is your need for the strength to overcome guilt or similar emotion.

    …I need to stop doing this. I’m sorry. Thank you all for indulging me against your will.

  16. July 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm —

    As a kid I used to have alot of dreams about falling. They ended when I stopped sleeping on the top bunk.

    The only dream I can remember people trying to analyze was going through Willy Wankas Chocolate Factory with a girl I knew. Everyone thought it was a sex dream. But when I have a sex dream, I usually just do it. I’m not very imaginative.

  17. July 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm —

    I could write a book or two about my dreams – I often remember them and they are usually very strange. I’m not completely adverse to the idea that it’s possible that your subconscious might try to send you a message via a dream, but generally I don’t worry about it or try to interpret dreams at all – the exception being any recurring dreams. I haven’t had any in a while (recurring dreams, that is) but the last one was rather odd. I would be out going about my day and suddenly, out of nowhere, feel an urge to go for a swim. Depending on where I was, I might want to go to the beach, or into the river, or whatever. Always outside, and always a swim. Then I’d realize i did not have a swimsuit. I’ll promptly resolve to go buy one, and go to a few stores, but I would be unable to find one to buy. Basically, in my dream I’d go from store to store until I woke up, unable to find a swimsuit. I wondered a few times if my subconscious was telling me to skinny dip :)

    People have tried to interpret my dreams, mostly in friendly conversation when I’ve talked about one. I have this crazy notion that if my id is trying to tell me something, it would do it in a way that was significant to me – not the casual listener. I certainly never fit the mold, so I doubt any of the typical symbolic claptrap would apply to me – though I confess to having fun applying it to others when asked. I’ve been known to interpret a few upon request.

    As for my most memorable dream, it was what many would call a past life dream. It is memorable to me not because I believe it had anything to do with past lives but because it felt different from my other dreams. Generally, I experience no feelings in dreams. I may be dreaming that I’m approaching a stop sign and my brakes are not working, and once I wake up I realize this would be a terrifying situation to experience. But in my dream I am detached. I see the danger, but I don’t feel the fear.

    One night, I was dreaming of a man in uniform on a horse. A cavalry officer. He was just sitting there, looking into the distance, as if he was doing some soul searching, and suddenly, I felt something. A feeling of recognition. I just knew that this was me, somehow. Then I started talking at this rider, as if i was trying to prove it to both of us. I told him what his name was, where he was born, how many siblings he had, where he was and how he came to be there, what he was fighting for. Details about his life, much as I imagine might happen if two childhood friends meet again after 40 years. You know how it goes – we had Mrs. H in 4th grade, you sat next to X and we used to go to the river every morning in the Summer.
    I don’t remember any of the details, or what color the uniform was, or really any more than I’ve just described. But I still remember the feeling very clearly. It still is the only time I have ever experienced a feeling in a dream.

  18. July 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm —

    I did have a recurring dream many years ago after my brother had passed away. The settings were always different, but the theme was the same. I’d be out with my family, and my brother would be there. Then I’d realize it had to be a dream because he wasn’t alive anymore.

    I also had one dream at the time where he was trapped somewhere in a colapsing mine system, and I could hear him, but I couldn’t find him. I never could figure that one out. Except maybe I felt guilty about his ashes still being in a box.

  19. July 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm —

    @slxpluvs: “He totally gave an opening for the dream analysis. It’s fun because I can pretend I’m smart and I can’t be wrong!!”

    It sounds pretty good though.. :) as good as any other exlanation I’ve heard so far.

  20. July 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm —

    @BingMcGhandi: All the time. So often now it barely phases me. I just wish it meant something was going on.

    I’ve had a recurring dream of flight for decades. It is all about balance. If I can balance just right I can fly. It feels so real that when I first wake up I will think for a coupld of seconds “That’s it, that’s how it works” then I wake up all the way and realize I was dreaming again.

    Lately I dream that I am studying for the CPA exam. Those dreams suck. I actually see the materials I’ve been working on.

  21. July 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm —

    I used to have a lot of vivid dreams, but then they just stopped, and for a period of close to twenty years I rarely had memorable dreams. Just recently I’ve begun to have some vivid dreams again. Nothing too noteworthy, just small disaster type dreams. However, I do remember one dream from my earlier vivid dream period that seems apropos to this site. In high school I had a dream that I had won a “Pope for a Day” radio contest, and I was being hustled through some sort of “backstage” hallways in the Vatican trying to get to the throne and the hat. Kept looking for the right hallway, (kind of like the scene in Spinal Tap) and accompanied by two handler types with clipboards who were trying to tell me the kinds of things a pope does. I was trying to find the “throne room” and trying to come up with a plan for messing around with things as much as I could in a day.

  22. July 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm —

    This is odd, last night I had a dream that James Randi had a cooking show and I was his assistant. He was explaining why we were using TAP water rather than bottled water in the recipe…when the guest assistant cook came in. Yes tonights guest was … Bishop Desmond Tutu!

    It got even weirder and then I woke up.

    We were cooking chicken soup with bacon. Tutu kept saying “bacon makes everything better!”

  23. July 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm —

    @BingMcGhandi:

    I avoid the whole waking up naked after falling asleep with clothes on by sleeping naked to begin with.

    As for my recurrent dream back when I was younger I used to have a dream involving King Kong. It would start off with Kong being trapped in a giant steel container at an old air station near here. I was standing on the road next to the base with a whole bunch of other people watching the military try to keep the container closed. Kong eventually breaks free and everyone starts to run away. He ends up snatching up a few of them but I never saw him kill them. I manage to run into a nearby apartment complex and hide under a giant wood table that reminds me of my aunt’s dinning room table. I can see the window from under the table and all of a sudden Kong’s eye appears at the window. he looks around the room but fails to notice me.

    Somehow I ended up at my house and Kong is still on the loose but no one seems to be hunting him down. I walk into my room and Kong shows up again looking for me. I press myself up against my closest wall trying to stay out his sight and once again he fails to notice me. For some reason I think he’s specifically seeking me out.

    So what do I do, I go running down the street chasing after him, he turns around and all of a sudden in the middle of the road is a playschool kitchen set, you know the one with the microwave and oven that had a green roof on it and the oven and microwave were interconnected. I don’t know where it came from or how it got there but it was there so i somehow manage to cram myself into the oven/microwave to avoid being seen by Kong, my brother also managed to fit in there too but then I’d always wake up at that part. I must have had that dream about 10 times from about age 5 till 14-15

  24. July 18, 2010 at 11:50 pm —

    @weatherwax: “going through WillyWankas Chocolate Factory with a girl I knew. Everyone thought it was a sex dream. ”

    Can you blame them?!! I hope Oompa Loompas weren’t involved.

    I get very vivid dreams that I used to find terrifying as a kid. Recurring nightmares included being stalked by a tiger, having the Nautilus crash through my bedroom wall, and my bed tipping up vertically while boulders fell on my head.

  25. July 19, 2010 at 12:05 am —

    I once had a dream where I was on a bus, and several violent things happened on the outside. Eventually the bus got somewhere safe and (figuring that this event almost certainly made the news) got my cell phone to call my sister.

    Anyway I don’t know if this counts as an interpretation, but I told a friend about it and she responded that it spoke a lot about my relationship with my sister that I would call her first in the middle of a crisis.

  26. July 19, 2010 at 1:05 am —

    @Shadow Of A Doubt: “I hope Oompa Loompas weren’t involved.”

    No. It was mostly running around the entrance room with the chocolate river, and looking at all the candy plants and mushrooms, and saying “That’s cool.” (The original ‘Willy Wanka’.

  27. July 19, 2010 at 1:21 am —

    @Gabrielbrawley: Balance certainly is the key but flapping my arms can help.

    The flying dreams, the teeth falling out, the being naked in public are all recurring dream subjects I’ve had but they have nothing to do with reality. (though admittedly the last one does have some real world truth(OK not just ‘some’))

    I’ve also had a few lucid dreams, twice I’ve had a dream within a dream and once I died on my dream.

  28. July 19, 2010 at 3:15 am —

    Well, there’s always The Monkey Dream.
    I’m back at my old secondary school, late, trying to get to class. But as I hit the stairs, the bell rings and hundreds of students come scrambling in the opposite direction. Eventually, I follow the flow of people back into the yard, where my dad, aunt, uncle and grandma are waiting for me by my aunt and uncle’s car.
    We go driving back to Zealand (where, as the school is on Zealand) across the bridge, when we see all these huge, flat slabs of rock slowly tumbling from the sky. There appears to be kanji carved in them. My grandma and I get out of the car to get a better look.
    As we approach where the slabs of rock are falling, I can see that the kanji aren’t carved intto the rocks at all – they’re made out of fish!
    That is when it becomes clear to me that the slabs of rock with the kanji must have been made by monkeys.
    Then I woke up.
    Anyways, I think the hidden truth in that dream is actually pretty clear: Monkeys do some crazy things!

  29. July 19, 2010 at 3:35 am —

    My last dream I remember was strange yet mundane. I joined a gym, I turned up at said gym…I was asked to leave as I was in sports wear…it turned out that this dream gym had a business casual dress code. Everyone was working out in smart shorts, shirts and ties…didn’t I feel under-dressed and foolish?!

  30. July 19, 2010 at 3:50 am —

    Yeah, but I’ve forgotten them. No, really. I had a fascinating dream this morning involving CSI work, titration, school work, a shoe heist and then I woke up, thought about how interesting that dream was, and now I can barely remember a few bits and pieces.
    My dreams generally fit Garbledina‘s Tarot comparison. Looking back at them right after waking they’re so obviously bits and pieces with somewhat dubious connections, with a narrative forced on them from elsewhere in my brain.

  31. July 19, 2010 at 3:52 am —

    Oh, and I have had some recurring dreams, that I can no longer recall since it’s been so long since the last time I had one, but I have a recurring theme that’s still going strong: The car with weak brakes that keeps moving after I’ve stomped the brake pedal almost through the floor and pulled the hand brake to the max.

  32. July 19, 2010 at 4:26 am —

    @gwenwifar: The stop sign and no brakes thing… I’ve had a bunch of dreams where I was driving and couldn’t stop the car. Sometimes I was basically stopped, and pushing the brake pedal, but the car kept inching forward (like an automatic in “drive”.) I keep mashing down the brake pedal as hard as I can, but the car keeps moving and I’m mostly embarrassed I can’t stop the car and might hit something.

    Sometimes my feet just won’t reach the pedals and I’m stretching as far as I can, but just can’t push the brake far enough to make the car stop. (For some reason, the gas pedal never seems to be a problem, though sometimes I’m driving a manual and can’t reach the clutch.

    (and @Bjornar has it too…)

  33. July 19, 2010 at 4:28 am —

    And obligatory Dylan quote: “If my thought-dreams could be seen, they’d probably put my head in a guillotine…”

  34. July 19, 2010 at 7:44 am —

    Last full remembered dream was of flying just over waves on a water planet.

    The water was deep and dark and huge waves rose and fell slowly almost like a monstrous bellows breathing beneath the sea.

    There was a tall rocky spire standing against the waves. It was pitted and dark colored like aged volcanic rock and the waves slammed against it with great force.

    The spire was wide enough to have a old fashioned country house on top but against the unending waves it seemed very small.

    Flying over the waves just skimming their surface until at a peak soaring into the air to land on the roof of the house.

    There was also a small paned window in the roof where one could look out over the eternal ocean.

    Normally have such mundane dreams of work, stresses, bad horror movies and the like so when one like the one above happen, they are wondeful.

  35. July 19, 2010 at 9:44 am —

    Flying and telekinesis dreams are really common for me – and when I can pull myself into lucidity inside them I have a lot of fun. Once, after watching some Cosmos, I had a lucid dream about visiting the library of Alexandria. I mostly just flew around outside the building marveling at how my brain was making this building so complete down to the smallest detail.

    The way I fly in my dreams has changed as I’ve grown up. Initially, I had to jump into the air and then do a breaststroke kick to get airborne. Then for a while I would just sort of lean where I wanted to go and glide around with the toes of one foot dragging (like Magus runs in Chrono Trigger). Now I mostly just think of which direction I want to go and I go that way. My favorite way to fly was one dream I had in which dolphin kicking was the way. It was relaxing.

  36. July 19, 2010 at 10:29 am —

    Sadly, I have to put up with a lot of dream woo. I’m a natural lucid dreamer, and control my dreams pretty much every night. It just so happens that the majority of people I talk to who are interested in lucid dreaming are also very New Age and believe not just in dream interpretation but also in spirit guides and all that jazz. They often hope that by controlling their dreams, they can communicate with their spirit guides etc. There’s a whole community built around the practice of lucid dreaming, and it rally annoys me that the majority are woo-sters.

  37. July 19, 2010 at 11:00 am —

    Sadly, I rarely remember my dreams.

  38. July 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm —

    I typically don’t remember my dreams for long, but when I do they’re usually pretty vivid. I was on Effexor for a while, and I remember anytime I would skip a dose, I’d have crazy realistic dreams. Sometimes I skipped a dose on purpose (this is not recommended, but there you have it).

    No longer on the meds, I’m back to my occasional interesting dreams that I remember. The last one happened as I was dozing on the couch after roller derby practice.

    In the dream, I was going to block somebody and as I put my foot in front of her to position myself, my actual foot kicked and woke me up. I fell back to sleep and resumed later in the game when somebody blocked me out of nowhere and I wiped out, sliding across the floor. That time my whole body jumped. After that, I decided restful napping was not going to happen and I got up. ;)

    That is more often what happens to me – as I’m dozing or falling asleep at night, I have dreams of falling or running or some kind of activity that causes me to jump or jerk and wake myself up.

  39. July 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm —

    @BingMcGhandi: That has happened to me!! Well . . . sorta. I woke up topless?!

    Honestly, I think I had just gotten hot in the middle of the night and took it off but was too sleepy to remember. :-P

  40. July 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm —

    So I’m in a box with a cat and there is this device on the wall with a radioactive logo on it and every time I look away from the cat and look back she has moved position and is sometimes alive and sometimes dead.
    Weird huh?

    Not as weird as having nocturnal orgasms from punching my grandma in the face or introducing a condiment to Uranus, but weird anyway.

    My weirdest dream involved human-sized chickens dressed up like the Cobra Kai dojo trying to peck my eyes out. Gotta lay off the late night runs for the border.

  41. July 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm —

    I had a dream a couple days ago about being taken prisoner by some sort of government agency… because I was friends with an Egyptian girl I’ve been flirting with for a couple months. Most of the dream consisted of me insulting them for being so stupid as to grab two American citizens, based on nothing more than the word of her ex-boyfriend.

    I still remember a couple dreams from childhood. One, from about 1st grade, had the monsters from Sesame Street (grown to 50′ tall or higher) destroying an interchange near our house in Omaha (we had since moved to Kansas), and so I needed to go rescue my girlfriend (such as girlfriends are in 1st grade… though I do occasionally wonder what happened to Jennifer Chowman, though I haven’t seen her in almost 30 years). I remember running up a lot of streets.

    I also remember (probably about the time of the Challenger disaster; 2nd-4th grade) a dream about them sending a stunt man to the moon. He got stuck in the soft cheese near the edge of a crater, and died. Ten years later, they heard a ghostly voice saying over his radio “I’ll be back….”

    Looking back on that one, I can see a LOT of different influences that weren’t immediately evident when I was that young.

  42. July 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm —

    Slightly OT….In college, I was asleep in my dorm room when I woke to the door opening. The door swung open and light from the hall came in. I leaned over and looked around a shelving unit to see, and saw a beautiful girl in a filmy baby doll sort of thing, backlit, standing in the door. I didn’t recognize her. She walked over to my bed, pulled back the covers, and got in bed with me. I was utterly stunned. She snuggled her butt into me and pulled the covers up and put her head on my pillow. I was just frozen in shock. I was also naked and uh…erect. I lay there for a minute, up on one elbow, looking at her, just not knowing what the hell was going on. On the one hand I’m thinking “Hot Chick In My Bed!!!!” on the other I’m thinking “She’s asleep, what happens if she wakes up and freaks out?” There had been a lot of date rape and the like recently on campus. I was just completely unsure of what to do. I finally put my hand on her shoulder and lightly shook her, and said “Um, excuse me?” She peeled back the covers, sat up, then stood and slowly walked out the still open door without a word. I leaped up, threw on some pants, and followed her down a flight of stairs and a hallway until she went in another room. At that point I just hoped it was her own room and went back to bed, thinking “My Life is SO fucking SURREAL!”
    The next day I walked along that hallway and saw her but she didn’t seem to recognize me, so I figured she was just a sleepwalker. A really hot one. Sigh.

  43. July 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm —

    Most memorable recent bad dream – killing a blond woman and dumping her body and car in the ocean. One of those “so real I spent half an hour after waking up trying to come up with a court defense” dreams. Totally freaked me out.

    Most memorable recent good dream – silly and sweet. Rachel Maddow came to the office and I walked her to her car. Short, meaningless, and altogether pleasant.

  44. July 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm —

    Right after High School I was put on zoloft for about a year or two. Throughout those two years I would have this reoccuring dream that I’d be walking in a parking lot in the middle of the night trying to find my truck. When I did find it, I always say a person crouching in the extra cab waiting for me to get in. Sometimes I noticed in time and sometimes I actually got into my truck first.

    After I went off of zoloft the dreams stopped.

    Flash forward a couple of years and I was put on zoloft again — BAM started having the exact same dreams again.

    It fascinates me how a medication can produce a dream pattern like that.

    A couple other dreams that stand out in my mind from when I was a kid:

    1. Indiana Jones was in my house trying to save my seven year old self from something that was leaving bloody torsos on poles all over the house (like those torso mannequins only real bodies)

    2. A giant hippo that walked upright was chasing me dressed in some sort of frilly pink outfit. This dream TERRIFIED me. All I remember is trying to hide under a box spring.

  45. July 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm —

    @Stevie: “It fascinates me how a medication can produce a dream pattern like that.”

    That reminds me. In the category of uncommon skills: I can tell what I drank the night before by the kind of dream I had. It seems wine, beer, rum & coke, and scotch or bourbon all produce unique themes in my brain when I’m dreaming that I can identify the next morning. I suppose it’s possible that it’s not the actual drink that does it, but I have yet to find another common denominator.

    It’s been a long time since I drank enough to actually need a skill like that, but it says something about how my brain works…. although I’m not sure what.

  46. July 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm —

    @swordsbane: I think we should play a game!

    You list the various dream themes in one column, the alcohol in the other and then we can all make guesses as to which produces which dream.

  47. July 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm —

    Sounds like fun:

    Column A
    1-Wine
    2-Scotch/Bourbon
    3-Rum&coke
    4-Beer

    Column B
    I-playing with animals
    II-trying to fix something
    III-flying (trying to land)
    IV-running everywhere but never tired

    Naturally, these are in no particular order.

    Of course I drink a lot of other things, but these are the only correlations I’ve made. I’ll post the answers tomorrow morning and then you can all psychoanalyze me :)

    Hmm.. there’s got to be a way to turn this into a drinking game….. anyone? :)

  48. July 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm —

    @swordsbane: I hope I am not the only one who guesses :-P

    Ok, here’s what I am guessing:

    Beer = Playing with animals. I was going to say fixing things because I think everybody links beer with mechanics but beer is more of the fun loving drink, and well, playing with animals is fun loving.

    Scotch/Bourbon — fixing things. Here is where my inner Trekkie comes in. Scotty was the engineer. So was Miles O’Brien, while not Scottish, mimics Scotty as the “Blue color ‘I can fix everything'” guy — plus he’s Irish, and they are known to drink too ;-)

    Wine = Flying. Because every time my mom or husband drinks wine they are high above the clouds. Plus, wine is more aristocratic for the “high” achiever.

    Rum&coke = running everywhere but never tired. This just makes me think of a stock broker and all I can do is picture them screaming and running around. Not much more to that one and I am pretty much stretching here, LOL.

  49. July 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm —

    Please note that every answer is equally made up nonsense.

    4 – III : Beer is very filling, which distends the stomach/small intestine and causes emotional distress, as well as increases certain IgM antibodies (the biggest antibodies) in some individuals. Since I already assume you’re a gracious, modest man (did you see there how I made a tenuous conclusion into a solid premise?) you must turn the typical violent dream impulses into dreams of flying and being unable to land – being unable to emotionally engage.

    3 – IV : Caffeine in coke induces production of adrenaline. You might not notice otherwise because alcohol makes some dream more.

    2 – I : When drinking scotch, who doesn’t feel like everyone else is an animal?

    1 – II : You had a childhood trauma. I’m sensing the letter “J” or maybe “G”. It definitely has a curve in it – it’s not an “A” or a “F.” Did you get a lot of “C”s or “B”s in school? You didn’t? Well, then one time that you did the teacher was drinking wine, even if you don’t remember. You couldn’t fix your grade. Now when you have wine you dream about fixing things.

  50. July 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm —

    Only 2? Wow
    Answers:
    1-III
    2-IV
    3-I
    4-II

    @Stevie: Got it right with Wine. Not sure if the reasoning is sound, but what do I know? :)
    @slxpluvs: Hilarious answers, especially the last one :)

    Don’t have a clue what any of it means, if it means anything, but the association my brain makes with beer at least seems to make some sort of sense, and the fact that these themes are consistent (as far as I can tell) means there’s SOMETHING in my skull connecting dots…. even if it’s just for fun.

    It could also be just that I’m weird.

  51. July 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm —

    @Buzz Parsec: @Bjornar: I have never had the thing with the car brakes, but I have had many dreams where I had to fight off an assailant and there was no strength in my arms at all, which is a similar feeling. Usually accompanied with trying to scream and only managing a weak whimper.

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