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Andrew's telling me about his dream. His sister told him she was trans so we couldn't go on our planned trip to the Moon because the insurance was all messed up since the documents were in her old name.

"We were all ready to go, at Disneyland where the trips to the Moon leave from..." he started. And actually, it seems very plausible to me that commercial Moon trips will go from Disneyland!
hollymath: (Default)
Had a dream last night where I could crochet, read Irish, and was going to be a policeman.

I would like to crochet and read (and speak) Irish. I would not like to be a policeman.
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I just woke up from one of the more ridiculous-sounding anxiety dreams I've ever had.

I was running some kind of event for blind people. I was directing people around, introducing them, taking notes in conversation with some, going to get drinks and snacks for everyone but me. At one point I was even worried about looking for somewhere to charge my phone.

It's laughable to relate now -- how boring is my brain! -- but the tension in my neck and shoulders when I woke up, and my racing breathing, were no more fun than if my anxiety had been about something more universally-recognized.

How boring is my brain, though.
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I had possibly the most "me" dreams ever last night: Lin-Manuel Miranda came to BiCon, Levenshulme started a kind of social-justice commune featuring me and a bunch of people I know from around here, that I know from the WI and such.

Even the parts of the dream that were nightmares featured friends of mine supporting me and protecting me from the bad things afterward.
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"I thought I hadn't slept at all last night, but thinking back on it, that part where we gave Gary my skin cream to drink and it turned him into Matt Smith probably didn't actually happen, did it?"
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I've had a terrible night's sleep: I am something of a connoisseur of insomnia and nightmares even at the best of times, yet tonight's examples were extreme. But I was pleased, maybe even amused, at certain features of those ludicrously awful dreams.

There's a theory that it's a good sign when you start to dream in the foreign language that you're learning: it's supposed to indicate a level of familiarity with and proficiency in the language. If it's really a sign of having integrated something into your mind and life, I'm amused and soothed to realize that new features of my dreams tonight include
  1. comprehensive mental health care that incorporates the specific experiences of bisexuals (I was amazed at how much time and energy it saved to not have to argue about or justify bisexuality and biphobia); and
  2. me using my white cane! even when I'd gotten dream-news so bad I was crying enough to wake myself up, I was using it. Don't remember that happening before in any dream.
hollymath: (Default)
...you have a dream about randomly snogging one of your friends (the kind where even in the dream it makes no sense and upon waking you feel a bit like you should apologize to your friend for your subconscious) and then in the dream you ask them "What does this mean?" and they start talking about how to talk about this with all the existing partners.

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I had an extremely odd dream.

Andrew and I were on vacation, somewhere in Britain but there was a Target there. We went in and, seeing that they had a counter where you could change your name by deed poll, I spontaneously decided to.

I didn't have anything particular I wanted to change my name to, but I was suddenly very keen on having a name people could spell and understand when I said it ("Holly" sounds different in my accent than in the ones people around me use, and I have had to spell it a lot recently...And of course my last name continues to be a nightmare). To illustrate the difficulty of my name, in the dream I had to write out my current/old name a couple of times, and I kept making odd spelling mistakes and writing it illegibly.

Since I wanted to change my name but I didn't know what to, dream-Andrew suggested "Morag," which I wasn't sure about but couldn't think of any reason why not. The guy at the departmet-store deed-poll counter (this should so be a thing) was Scottish, so he thought that was a good idea. I thought I might keep my own middle name -- which is Michelle -- but then I saw he'd written "Lynsey" down on the forms (this is also how I learned I was apparently going to "Jones" as a surname) which I did not like, so the three of us had an argument about what my new middle name should be...It was nearly "Ginny" but then the Scottish man said something about "Kean" (and, in the way with dreams, I immediately knew it was that spelling) and I excitedly latched onto that.

So I happily walked away with a big envelope full of paperwork and a list of all the things I had to notify of the name change...all emblazoned with the name Morag Kean Jones.

I'd love to know what dream-world I was living in where a Scottish first name, an Irish middle name usually expected to belong to a gender different from mine were going to be easier to navigate the world with than the name I've already got!

It amused me when I woke up (which is good because I woke up way too early to the noise of the damn smoke alarm whose batteries need changing but which I hav never been able to take apart to get at the batteries, so I'd have otherwise been very grumpy).

Waking-me hasn't ever really thought about changing my name, beyond using that as a rhetorical device to whine about how sick I am of having a name people get wrong, and the whole milliseconds it took to make the decision not to change my surname when I got married.

But in the dream, I didn't feel much attachment at all to my name. As I signed the paperwork, I distinctly remember being a little sad I would no longer have the same name as [personal profile] miss_s_b's daughter, and thus the still-running joke of her being my mum (a real thing! which, months after the misunderstanding that spawned it, is still an idea that makes me laugh) might have to die. But on the other hand, dream-me mused, it'd take Andrew absolutely ages to get used to calling me anything other than "Holly," and I'd enjoy laughing at him when he did.

I was vaguely aware there'd be a lot of bureaucracy to deal with in changing my name, but I didn't dwell on that nearly as much as losing my affiliation with another awesome Holly and watching Andrew get something wrong.

Brains are such funny things, aren't they?
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When I was first married, and struggling with how miserable and strange my wedding was, a lot of my friends suggested having some other kind of ceremony more like how I'd have wanted it and less tainted by the emotional rawness of my brother having just died.

I always said I could see the appeal of this in some ways but in other ways it'd just be another thing for me to sort out on my own and anyway Andrew hated the first wedding enough that I can't imagine him offering me anything better than tolerance and humoring me for such a plan, and the whole point of this would be to remove the aspect of obligation and having to please other people from a wedding.

After a while I didn't think about the wedding so much any more and the idea didn't seem at all interesting to any more.

So after years of not thinking about it, I dreamed it last night.

It was so vivid. I can tell you the dress I was wearing -- bright red, and a bit girly for me but I was very happy with it -- and that everybody I know was there. I wasn't dreaming I was in the past, I was dreaming everybody I know now and I knew in the dream that I had been married a while by now.

But it was a big party and everyone was really happy for me and I was really happy. And I woke up feeling like that's almost as good, or maybe better, than having to plan and arrange it in my waking life.
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Had a dream where I was basically in Ender's Game, but with lots more bisexuality.

Which, of course, made it way better.

I got an armored jetpack suit! And I got to kiss a girl! A few of them, actually. I'm kind of surprised that my subconscious thinks I'm so fanciable!

Ah well. Time to go back to bed.
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I have been having strange and complicated dreams lately (another sign that my brain's not doing well; since I mentioned one yesterday and [personal profile] magister asked me if there were others, I keep noticing more).

Last night I dreamed a bunch of friends and I were at some kind of political conference. And for some reason my mom was there, too. I lost her for a while when I was arguing with an LGBT Labour person and when I found Mom again she'd seen a speech by Theresa May and was enamored with her, telling me she had a lot of good points about terrorism and she was going to be the next Prime Minister.

So I had a long dream-conversatiom with her about how that was unlikely; about the coalition (because Theresa May had given my mom the impression that only the Tories were in government) about the differences from the American system that mean British people don't choose their country's leader, about the upcoming election. She didn't seem that interested in me; I think Theresa May was still winning in her head.

I woke up feeling exhausted and frustrated. I fail at sleep.


Oct. 5th, 2014 08:03 am
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For once I woke up feeling relatively cheerful and even vaguely disappointed, the way you do when you prefer the dream to your waking life. I think I'd been doing something complicated with a group of people, and I like that so I guess that's why I was happy.

But I don't remember it, except that at the very end I was saying "you can always tell the lesbians in the room, because they're the last to get a double entendre if there's a cock in it." Because that's what'd just happened!

I laughed in my dream, and smiled when I was awake -- not because my observation was as witty as dream-me thought, but just because any harmless dream these days is a relief.
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I had a panic attack in a dream last night. Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't even know that was a thing that could happen, but this is the second time it has, now.

It was very convincingly done: the cause was something that'd elicit exactly that kind of reaction in my waking life, and when I woke up in the middle of it I felt almost as exhausted as I do when they really happen.

And when I finally got my sorry self downstairs, Andrew told me I'd talked in my sleep! That's a new one on me (or at least, it's not something that's happened when anybody else has heard and wanted to tell me about it.) He says I said "Boo." It woke him up. He asked me what I was on about but of course got no answer because I was sleeping. He says he doesn't know if I was trying to be scary or to express my disapproval about something. Bit ominous, I think, either way.
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It's nice that, along with all the horrible dreams, I've been having some comedy relief ones.

Last night it was that my dad had a Paul Bunyan statue built along the side of their driveway, so you could see it from the road. He was so proud of it.

(This is especially funny if you know how completely Not My Dad such a thing would be. You'd never catch him as the protagonist of a magical realist movie.)


Sep. 24th, 2014 09:21 am
hollymath: (Default)
Last night I dreamed about arguing with Labour members about their LGBT record.

And I dreamed that it is Thursday morning instead of Wednesday.

Neither of these is quite as boring as my dream the other day that I'd found an Allen wrench I could use to fix one of my chairs, waking up thinking "oh good I can fix that chair!" and then only slowly realizing that, no, I couldn't, it was only a dream.

But it does seem at the moment I am only having nightmares or the most hilariously mundane dreams. No in-between.
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Dreamed I was on Question Time, so naturally I've woken up feeling exhausted and with a ridiculous headache.

It was nice to see the random collection of my friends who came along for moral support and bought me beer afterwards, though! Aw. Lovely friends.

Grumpy day

Jan. 18th, 2013 01:49 pm
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I am grumpy today. I had a series of vivid dreams on closely related subjects, of the extremely-believable type where you wake up wondering if it's actually happened yet. It hasn't, but it's dismaying that my brain stores up the capacity for sadness and realistic modeling of family members' insanity. If it wasn't for stuff like that cluttering up the place, my brain might have got the hang of calculus.

The other thing is, when it snows, I turn from my normally-mild-mannered-if-eccentric Dr. Jekyll into some kind of growling scowling monster. I can't look at Twitter today because it's all spam about snow (and the #uksnow thing winds me up to no end. I'm like that xkcd: all of this is 1/10! You can take the girl out of Minnesota...)

I especially hate that there's a culture of people not clearing the sidewalks. There are actually myths about how if you do clean the path in front of your house, you'll then and only then be liable if someone falls on it. Which leads to all kinds of frictionless horrors, and me plotting political coup in my head as a coping mechanism.

When I was home for Christmas, a neighbor of my grandma's (knowing her husband had died this year and she wasn't in any shape to be worrying about this) brought his snowblower around to clear our her driveway, and when he refused to accept any money for this, she gave him some lefse as a thank-you. That's what I'm used to! That's where I want to be, in the winter.
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I think it's interesting that one of the recipients of a retinal implant to restore vision is quoted as saying "I have even dreamt in very vivid colour for the first time in 25 years so a part of my brain which had gone to sleep has woken up!"

The implants are designed for people with a degenerative condition (although the RNIB says complete blindness is uncommon), but nothing is said about whether this person was blind at the time of getting this implant -- but it doesn't sound ilke e could have had a lot of sight, if being "able to detect light and distinguish the outlines of certain objects" are encouraging results of the operation. The condition seems to be indicated by lack of night vision or peripheral vision; nothing much is said about losing color vision although the disease can affect the cones (which perceive color) as well as the rods (which give us night and low-light vision). It makes sense that a loss of color vision could lead to dreaming in black and white, but I can't assume that's what happened in this person's case. Some people with no sight at all do "see" in their dreams, and just as the brain coughs up old memories when its dreaming, it can use old sensory data even if it's no longer getting new stuff of that sort.

People are strangely fascinated by whether dreams are in color. Google brings up tons of results to people asking whether we dream in color, and the results are contradictory: "Yes." "Sometimes." "Some people do." "Everybody does." Even "Dreams are black-and-white during the period of black-and-white films and TV in the first half of the twentieth century, but before and after that, dreams are in color." My favorite is "even if the media did not change our actual dreams, they were nonetheless a principal cause of our change in opinion about our dreams."

Of course all these opinions presume sightedness. The internet is also full of people asking the question "What do blind people dream about?" It seems ludicrous to me, but then I suppose I don't have quite the vision chauvinism as a fully-sighted person. The answer is, as I suspected, the same things as everyone else -- their daily lives, their memories, and so on. It seems people who had some sight beyond the age of seven do experience visual imagery in dreams.

Of most personal interest to me was that while less than one percent of sighted participants surveyed in two previous studies reported experiencing gustatory, olfactory, or tactual sensations in dreams, all but three of the blind participants in this study reported experiencing them. I was surprised that the number is so low in fully sighted people -- either the study is flawed somehow or visual chauvinism is even stronger than I think! -- because my dreams definitely use those other senses.

It's because of this connection between people's waking and dreaming thoughts and experiences that I was surprises eomeone whose vision was restored to the extent that e could discern light from shadow and the edges of objects (things that are among the easiest to see and thus common among people with low vision) was suddenly dreaming in color (which leads me to assume e was dreaming in black-and-white previously, rather than no visual images at all -- both because I'd have expected em to put it differently otherwise (the comparison would've been "now I can see objects [where before I couldn't]" rather than "now I can see color [where before I couldn't]") and because es degenerative condition probaby gave em sight for long enough to fall into the category that the science tells me would leave a person with visual dreams).

But most of all, on reading this person's reaction to es new sight, was em saying so matter-of-factly, that the direct and obvious and simple cause of es newly-colorful dreams, was "a part of my brain which had gone to sleep has woken up!" I smiled because I recognize this: it was once explained to me (by someone who was supposed to teach me how to cross roads without getting hit by cars, rather than any sort of medical professional; they never talked to me like a person) that perhaps that's what happened to my own brain. Nothing changed in my eyes or optic nerves or visual cortex (as far as medical science (ptooi!) knows anyway) between my being born blind and my suddenly being able to see in a way that was obvious to my parents and the specialists) so it's like my brain woke up and realized it could make sense of these (no doubt extremely low-bandwidth) signals it was getting.

The metaphor of waking up is a hopeful one, much better than the usual ones about non-fuctional parts of the brain being "dead." It's nice to think that all the shoddy parts of my brain (even though I know better) are still there, perfectly fine, just slumbering and waiting to wake up and spring into action, like King Arthur or something.
hollymath: (Default)
I just woke up from a dream where I couldn't go to work one day because I'd left the house wearing mismatched, worn-out shoes (and lost one of those as the day went on anyway) and had the worst luck shoe shopping.

One store had normal shoes in smaller sizes but children's clothes shelved in the space for my size.

I was having my best luck looking at a shoe display in a coffee shop (trendy coffee shops selling shoes seems worryingly plausible even to a semi-awake me), where my brain seemed to have recast Doc Martens in the role of brightly-colored things shaped like spaceships, all with weird heels.

One store I remembered as selling shoes ("Famous Footwear") had turned into Famous Firmware and sold lingerie and bathrobes and stuff. As I walked past it, a couple of guys ran out of there with handfuls of expensive Argentinian bras (Argentinian? brains are so weird). The people in the next store in the mall could tell the cops all the brands of the clothing they were wearing, even one's underwear visible beneath his drooping trousers.

I think from all this it should be pretty clear that
a) I hate shoe shopping
b) I really need some new shoes.


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