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The List Grows

The Forgotten Errand.
The Big Nice House  (this one is cognate to the New Apartment, which in my dreams is always a wonderful refuge, sometimes with free meals or similar).
The Elaborately Produced Big Budget City.
The Big Guy who makes me Guilty/Nervous/Anxious
The Rock Band that Needs my Help
Meeting Dead People who Act Alive
Being Dead but Still Alive
Meeting Famous Dead People who Act Alive
Lost or Detached Penis (see also:  Lost Teeth)
Back to School though Graduated
Teaching Class but Knowing Nothing (see Actor;s Dream) -- I had one of these and forgot it till just now!  Trying to keep up the patter, glancing at the (illegible) textbook, getting caught out by students who know more than I do.  Probably every trade has its own version of this one.  The Lost Hammer Holster.  The Fucked Up Operation.  The Car with Unintelligible Engine.
Chased by Bad Guys
Chased by Bad Guys, Realize you're in a Movie
Dream Dream Job
Dream Bad Job you Used to Have and Thought you were Done With (variant: finding out that, after all, and in spite of everything, you have been drafted.)

ANd that's not all, and that's just us!


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 24th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
the New Apartment, which in my dreams is always a wonderful refuge, sometimes with free meals or similar

Or dozens of disconnected toilets, or something loathsome in a drawer? Or was that only in Pierce Moffat's dreams? ;)

I have the Big Nice House dream, too, although I call it the Rambling House (it's usually Victorian in appearance) because seems to go on and on, bigger within than without.
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)
Diconnected toilets-- or walking through huge institutional bath and shower complexes in which none of the doors work, or they're all occupied...
I get those a lot.
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
I've dreamed that one myself, usually in the morning when my bladder is telling me to wake up but my brain wants to stay in slumberland.

Jan. 24th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
Exactly. Once I figured that one out, I just trained myself to wake up and go to the damned bathroom. I no longer have long fruitless and increasingly panicky searches for working loos in my dreams anymore.
Jan. 24th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
"Being Dead but Still Alive"

I've lived through that dream a few times...
Jan. 24th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC)
You Know
We are all Dead.

These words persist. Here, now, I am writing this and here, now, we are reading this.

Soon I will go to bed. These words will still be here.

Eventually I will die. These words will still be here.

John's work continues to be read - even gains in popularity; that, I think, is predictable. Thus people continue to read this, long after John and you and I and all of us are dead.

I'd like to say hello to you, reading this in 2050, in 2100, in 2150 and beyond.

I was like you once.

Sooner than you think, you will be like me.

I hope you are doing well. Take good care of yourself and those you love. There's not really much else that is important.

Jan. 24th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
A corollary to Back to School: Missing the Bus. More than 20 years after graduating, I still get that one.
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
Mind if I cut and paste this to the Varieties of Oneiric Experience community?
Would make a good start...
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
Also-- do you have any interest in being a maintainer? I'm just trying to get the ball rolling, not take over :o/
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
I am happy to have you take over! Your work on the list will go down in history with the compilers of the Rudolphine Tablets of planetary and stellar positions, from which Kepler derived the laws of planetary motion. WHen our Kepler of the dreamworld arrives, this will be invaluable.

If you CAN'T take it over, we can ask for a volunteer...
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh-- I'm happy to maintain it!! I've always been fascinated by this stuff, and it's been a real treat to read all the discussion about it on your blog. I just don't want to be a hog.
Our Kepler of the dreamworld...
Can't wait to read that!
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:21 am (UTC)
Two I haven't had for a while
1) I wake up, and realize I've been dreaming. Then I wake up, and realize that was a dream. Then I....

2) I'm at the tiller of a car going down a mountain road. The tiller is the only part of the controls whose function I know.

I decide to pull over till I know what I'm doing. I ask where the brakes are.

"There are no brakes."{
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
I once read the Greek word that signifies dreaming that you have awakened from a dream, but remining in dream; I forgot it immediately and haven;t come upon it again.
Jan. 26th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
Please tell us this word when you remember it.
Jan. 24th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
I get the Lost Car in the Parking Garage, Final Exam I Haven't Studied For in the Class I Forgot To Attend, and Various Flying Dreams (With or Without Anxiety). My favorites used to be the Sliding on Shiny Floors in my Socks. Really. I was quite elegant, almost balletic, and the slides went on forever. I suppose that might be a subset of the New House dream, although often the floors were in public buildings.
Jan. 24th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Do you ever get "Suddenly realising you are naked at work/school, and nobody noticed, but now that you know everyone notices and somehow you have to sneak out of the place and get home to get dressed?" That one was a plague for me in my teens.
Jan. 24th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Oh my god how could we have forgotten that one? MAybe just because it seems so universal. Sometimes in mine I just tough it out hoping no one will notice (!) and sometimes I find women's clothes to put on and try to pass or, again, hope no one will notice.
Jan. 25th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I also got the "inappropriately dressed for work/weather/school" dream a lot when I was younger. I had a very frustrating one where every time I went in and changed, the weather shifted to the opposite so that I always had the wrong clothes on.
Jan. 24th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
The Big Closet or Room You Didn't Know You Had, generally behind a door which you thought was a closet or that led to the attic.

Reading A Fabulous Story You Have Written and forgetting it all instantly on waking.
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
Reading A Fabulous Story You Have Written and forgetting it all instantly on waking.

Argh! Yes! I get that one from time to time. Very rarely, I manage to scribble some of it down upon waking, and once I did get a poem out of it, but usually it's just lost impossibly perfect prose.
Jan. 25th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I get the Forgotten Room often, usually when I'm fretting about the amount of clutter in my life. Once the Forgotten Room had a big stack of windows in it already. I have no idea what *that* was all about.
Jan. 28th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I get the Forgotten Room often, usually when I'm fretting about the amount of clutter in my life.

I got it mostly when we were living in very small apartments with, as you say, lots of clutter, and I loved the feeling of relief that came with the dream and hated the disappointment of waking and realizing it was a dream. I think I have not had this dream for a while now though, not in that form, although the dreams about hybridized buildings (elements of several familiar ones) are common for me.
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
Most of my dreams tend to be odd and leave people told about them saying, "wait, you dreamed what?". But I do on rare occasions have "Commit Violent, Often Freudian, Acts You Would Never Do in Real Life Against Loved Ones" and that strikes me as archetypal.
Jan. 27th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
I don't know about that. I have a feeling that dreams just don't care what you do, and supply oddities that are in fact not wish fulfillment or anything but random combinations. The awful moment in such dreams is when you begin to wake, or begin to return to rationality (though still dreaming) and realize that even though it made sense to kill your mother or eat your baby or cut off your foot it was a REALLY REALLY BAD IDEA and can never be made better and WHAT HAVE I DONE and then you wake up panting in horror.
Jan. 28th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
maribou wrote, "I do on rare occasions have "Commit Violent, Often Freudian, Acts You Would Never Do in Real Life Against Loved Ones" and that strikes me as archetypal."

You are plainly well-balanced! I have a violent beating-up-others dream a few times a year, and I wake racing not with anxiety but still with the residual dream anger. The odd thing is that such dreams don't correlate with being explicitly angry at the dream-victim: there's no obvious trigger for them. (They occur without warning and the unresolvable leftover anger tends to hang on and curdle part of the morning.)
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
In place of The Big Nice House I usually have The Big Nice Attic which is always my favorite dream. I haven't had one in a few years, though...
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
Don't forget out the dark, unstoppable scary thing outside the house that is now somehow inside the house omigawd!
Jan. 24th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
I don't have the same dream over and over, but many of my very lucid dreams take place in the same place. It started out as what I knew was supposed to be my Dream house, but it was always in the midst of repairs. Then it moved to a neighborhood that I somehow knew every nook and crany of; then it moved to other locations--an elaborate mall with spiraling escalators like in an Escher print, a university campus town with maze-like streets and various highways that would take me to other places that were as real as can be, but exist no where that I know of. I always wake up from those dreams and feel strangely like I'm actually leaving another life. Very strange. *chuckles* Just thought I'd share.
Jan. 24th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC)
I keep dreaming that a minor celebrity who is half my age is my boyfriend. This is actually a very nice dream because he's a good boyfriend in the dream, and he's a very cute 21 year old. But it is kind of weird.
Jan. 24th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
back in school
No, no, no. Day before graduation. Realization I've skipped every session of two different classes, and they're not going to let me out. Hustling campus and talking professors into alternative assignments by telling monstrous lies, admitting to deserving no better than a B since all of those conscientious kids actually made it to class. It works. This is a recurring dream, and there is almost nothing else in my life so satisfying as the waking realization I never have to go back to school again. I'm just assuming y'all are talking about dreams.

The single singular thing I know about myself is that I've never (ever) had a nightmare. I dream with plots, with beginnings and endings, and some of these stories are vexing, and some are very sad. In dreams, I consciously suppress the knowledge that I'm dreaming, since awareness would ruin the surprise. I do sleep to dream, and I think it's a pretty satisfying vocation. As with just about anything otherwise inscrutable, this is more or less perfectly explained in The Tempest:

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.

I think this is the second best shakespeech after Richard II sittingdeaths of kings. But, you know, Awake, thou coward majesty! thou sleepest. Sort of like disobeying the Tom Waits injunction to never drive a car when your dead. Your innocent when you dream; you're innocent and you dream.
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
Re: back in school
Day before graduation. Realization I've skipped every session of two different classes, and they're not going to let me out.

Yep - very common version of it, I think. It's the exam or the end of school and one has forgotten to show up all year!

(btw, one of my favorite Waits lines -- "Last night I dreamed that I was dreaming of you.")
Jan. 24th, 2007 10:07 am (UTC)
Real-Life Task Invasions?
Don't know what to call them, but I often have dreams that continue tasks that are taking over my waking life or which I'm anticipating in some way.

The former pop up during big pushes at work, the notable example occurring when I took off just enough time to go to the movies and then get some sleep. That night, I dreamt that I used my desktop publishing software to turn my friend into Robocop.

The latter stick more when it's something I'm dreading for some reason, from tedium to angst. Bob Dylan was to play one of my favorite small venues, tickets going on sale only at the venue (two tickets per person limit). I set the alarm clock, then dreamed that I was waiting to buy tickets, only in the jury selection room at the courthouse, chatting with out-of-town friends who are enormous Dylan fans. In the morning, I woke up late and declined to go stand in line, mainly because I thought it was too late to get tickets, but partly because I'd spent hours standing in line already.
Jan. 24th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
just to add to this, I've recently had the 'very literal dream about the holiday my friends are on at this present minute and I could have gone on if I had more money', which seemed like very simple wish-fulfillment.
I've also had 'going back to Grandma's house to find everything changed' which I'd interpret as a kind of 'self-auditing/think of a happy place' type dream.

I would say in general, the problem with trying to find one specific taxonomy of dreams would be the incredible subjectivity of inner consciousness. A parent's bedroom, a high mountain, a cup, a horse, or anything, could have vastly different significances attached to them, depending upon whose headspace its cropping up in. I guess you'd get recurring themes or archetypes, I'd say that you'd have to know a lot about the landscape, which would limit their usefulness as any kind of shortcut to understanding.
Jan. 24th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
That's true, which is why the initial phase of data collection ("what dreams have you had?") will only yeild a real taxonomy after not only common incidents have been identified, but identifying connections. Sort of like Boolean search: Includes, always, but not, or. ALWAYS big house OR big city BUT NOT nice AND [falling apart OR unfinished] AND [getting lost OR never reaching the end].

I'm vamping. Wiser data students than I must log in here.
Jan. 24th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
I started trying to organize by concept over on dream taxonomy-- see what you think
Jan. 24th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)
I used to have recurring tornado dreams, very vivid and realistic, all the way up to the feel of the air and the wind and air pressure effects. Sometimes in the dream I was in a house, at other times in a field, or driving. I had assumed it was just me, but across the years have run into a fair number of other people who have had this as a recurring theme. I've never been through an actual tornado, so chalk it all up, perhaps, to the Wizard of Oz...

Another recurring dream was being in an airplane as it goes down, which oddly enough, included the inability to die -- instead of a crash, the plane lands successfully on a highway, or otherwise somehow recovers. Apparently my inner dreamer can be quite the optimist.
Jan. 24th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
What about kidnapping or being trapped somehow?
Jan. 24th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
Another bad dream
Realizing that the class you have to teach isn't taking place where you thought it was, but on the other side of campus. When you try to get there late (better than never), the buildings move, blocking your way, you get lost, ....
Jan. 28th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
I was a frequent bed-wetter as a child, it would often happen when I'd dream that I had to go, woke myself up and went to the toilet to pee, only to awaken in alarm to that warm, familiar wet feeling of having peed in my sleep.

A reoccurring dream of mine is waiting tables in a busy restaurant, at which point a distraction would arise, such as a friend showing up in my section and inviting me to have a drink down the street, or having to run an quick errand. I would dream of this scenario for sometime, but then suddenly (shockingly) remember that I had a full section of people I completely abandoned mid-meal. Rushing back into the restaurant, expecting the worst, I would find the place completely empty.

Dream augmentation

When I quit smoking, I used the patch. Leaving it on at night, I noticed my dreams were more vivid and exciting. I thought that this would be great, but I soon realized that I was waking up in the morning feeling exhausted from my overnight adventures. I stopped wearing it when I turned in for the night. Other people have told me they too have experienced the same thing.

I also found that Melatonin triggered hyper-dream states, except for the fact that my dreams took on a trippier, wackier and more colorful tone. My father, suffering from insomnia tried it, but he too reported that his "far-out" dreams were too much for him. He told me that he thought that this must be what a psychedelic trip must be like.

Whenever I take the nutritional supplement Chromium GTC before bed (used for regulating glucose levels, supposedly reducing overnight food cravings), my dreams becoming heavily populated with colorful individuals, both known and unknown to me in waking life. I've experimented with this for a long time and can't tell if the Chromium helps populate my dreams or only helps me recall that aspect of my dreams.

Jan. 28th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
Your restaurant dream suggestst that the name of that dream type should be, not The Forgotten Errand, but the Remembered Errand. That's the effect I meant: the sudden recollection that you were supposed to be doing something, something you wandered away from and farther from and now can never get back to do (in fact trying to get back, to any place at all, in dreams seems impossible to me, and if it weren't for the testimony of robust dreamers reporting here, I would have said it was a standard feature of dreaming).

I tried melatonin too, and it seemed briefly to have effects, then rapidly none -- too quickly acclimated to. Every once in a while I try it again. Vitamin B12 once seemed to have similar effects in large doses.
Jan. 29th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Potency/Impotency Category
Ooh, ooh, just thought of another one. How about the car getting stuck, or the gun that doesn't work? In other words, a commonplace tool that doesn't function according to the laws of physics. The car sliding backwards off the road, the brakes don't work, power doesn't go to the wheels. In extremis, fighting off the vampires, or the Commies, and you grab a weapon, but you don't have the right ammo, or the thing comes apart in your hands when you try and load it. I'm thinking that these are dreams about powerlessness, of course, and almost certainly related to other anxiety categories, tangentially to nakedness and tooth loss, say. I imagine you have umbrella categories, which are then subdivided or subcategorized, yes?
Jan. 29th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
Re: Potency/Impotency Category
Exactly -- the category Attacked by Enemies should admit of alternate outcomes -- in some dreams the gun crumbles in your hand, in other dreams you succeed. Sometimes that out-of-control brakeless car ends in a disaster as you wake with a cry, but in others I at least manage to just sideswipe a few people and ride a few sidewalks before it becomes a tricycle or an armchair.
Feb. 6th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
Re: Potency/Impotency Category
Or the dark house where none of the lights work? That's been a recurring one for me all of my life.
Feb. 6th, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Potency/Impotency Category
The dark house (often my own house) where the lights don;t work is one of mine; it often happens when I am pursued by unseen beings who would be scattered if I could just tuen on the lights, but I can't, and the darkness only deepens to total blindnes, then inanition and immobility, then wake-up-screaming. I think (I should do the research) that when we are in REM sleep there is a disconnect between our bodies and our brains -- the body doesn't move at all but the brain is busily moving us about, and looking at things (REM) and responding physically. In another sleep phase, we are mobile and can move but not much, and of course our eyes are closed; so the lights-don't work, I-can't-move-or-speak terror comes from having slipped from REM to the other sleep phase but staying in the dream. What I've read.

OF course in REM men get erections nightlong. Up, down, up, down. No one knows why.
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