Dream diary, 11/21/09: Terrorist Pizza Party

Pizza I dreamed that I was having pizza with Iranian terrorists. A reporter friend of mine was doing a story on them; she was hiding them in her crawlspace, but they were thinking of coming out and revealing themselves in public. To encourage them to do this, she had a pizza party for them. Ingrid and I somehow got mixed up in this. I was uncertain how I felt about what my friend was doing, but mostly I was uncomfortable trying to make small talk, since the terrorists didn’t speak English very well.

Dream diary, 9/23/09: The Paul Newman progressive ice show


I dreamed that I was doing an ice show about progressive political issues with Paul Newman. As the big finale of that day’s show, to represent the fight against global warming, I was supposed to skate across the length of the ice rink as fast as I could, ending with a flying leap, and catching myself by two fingers in a small yellow tube that Paul was holding up. I hadn’t practiced this maneuver and was worried that it would be dangerous and I might break my fingers; but then I realized that if I pretended I was the lead in a flying wedge instead of the only skater on the rink, it would be safe.

I woke up very baffled.

Dream diary, 8/4/09: The singing alarm clock

Digital-clock-alarmI dreamed that when my alarm clock went off, instead of making a series of buzzes, it sang. Specifically, it sang about food, making suggestions about what I might eat that day. If I got up right away, it gave me a broad range of suggestions in its song; but every time I hit the snooze, the range of what it told me to eat got narrower and narrower. I hit the snooze four or five times, and it ended up just singing, “Grapes, grapes, grapes, grapes…”

Dream diary, 6/8/09: The Facebook survival kit

First aid kitI dreamed that when you joined Facebook, they gave you a medical kit to help you survive in case of natural or man-made disaster. When I picked up mine, I thought I’d have to show some sort of proof that I’d joined Facebook, but it turned out to be pretty much on the honor system. The kit was full of expensive injectable medicines, some of which needed to be refrigerated, so there was an ice pack of liquid nitrogen at the center of the kit, which was steaming like dry ice. They had also included a vial of strychnine, in case the disaster was so bad (like a nuclear holocaust) that Facebook members might want to kill themselves quickly rather than die a slow and painful death. In the dream, I thought this was all very thoughtful of them, but was concerned about how expensive it all was and how the company would be able to sustain itself while doing this program.

I woke up feeling very baffled, almost laughing, at dream priorities and dream logic.

Dream diary, 1/21/09: Doctor Biden’s housecall

Joe bidenI dreamed that Joe Biden was my doctor, and was making a housecall at my office. I was having narcolepsy and dizzy spells: he said we could treat it with aggressive medication, but he thought the problem might just be sleep deprivation, and suggested I take a nap. He also thought the problem might be too much wax in my ears. When he left, my co-workers all thought I had cancer, because everyone knew Biden had been an oncologist before he became a Senator.

Atheist Dreams

Do any of you ever have atheist dreams?

I don’t mean atheist dreams, as in, “dreams and hopes for a better, more atheist- friendly world.” I mean atheist dreams, as in, “I dreamed that Christopher Hitchens was trying to sell me life insurance,” or, “I dreamed that the ghost of Thomas Aquinas appeared at my dinner table and told me it was okay to be an atheist.”

No, those aren’t real dreams. I made them up. But I did have a real one a little while back. I was waiting in line with a group of friends to see Richard Dawkins read at a bookstore. But I’d won a contest, and the prize was that Richard Dawkins stood in line with us and hung out with us while we waited for the bookstore to open. He was a surprisingly good sport about it, and was good company, but we were all a little star- struck and didn’t quite know what to say to him. (I woke up feeling slightly baffled by the recursion conundrum of Richard Dawkins waiting in line to see himself read.)

I forgot to log it in the dream diary at the time. But it’s stuck with me, and it’s made me ponder the degree to which atheism and the atheist movement have entered my subconscious. (I have other atheist dreams, too, usually about blogging or reading other atheist blogs. Most of them aren’t that interesting — although I’m still tickled by the one about atheist plumbing — but I have them fairly often.)

And I was wondering: Does this happen to anyone else? Do any of the atheists reading this blog — or any of the non-atheists, for that matter — ever dream about atheism? If so, what do you dream about? When did it start? And how do you feel about it? (My atheist dreams make me feel a little bit nerdy, but in a good way.) I personally find it slightly odd to dream about something so abstract — to dream about the non-existence of something, essentially — and I’m curious if this is a widespread phenomenon or not.

Dream diary, 7/28/08: The Shadow Government

Shadow 2
I dreamed that there was a secret organization — a corporate organization, but also connected with the government somehow — that was controlling people through subliminal signals created by shadows falling on their bodies while they slept. In the dream, I “woke up” to see some shadows in the corner of the room: the shadows began forming into patterns, and I recognized one of the patterns as the logo for this organization. I was very excited — at last I had proof that this was really happening — but I was also completely terrified, as it was happening to us, right now.

This was a genuine night terror, the first I’ve had in a long time. I woke Ingrid in a panic, but was completely unable to explain why I’d woken her. This was easily the most abstract night terror I’ve ever had, which made trying to form words to describe what was happening even more difficult than usual. Weirdly, the process of trying to explain what was happening forced me to try to make sense of it… and the process of trying to make sense of it made it eventually dawn on me that it didn’t make sense, it was ridiculous, and I’d woken my wife up out of a sound sleep at two in the morning to warn her about the evil government shadow puppets.