Define a Transparent Dream

This is my first post in 2,096 days. That’s 50,304 hours, or 5.7 years without a single post. But as they say, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

What took so long? You could call it laziness, or lack of time. You could call it the easy allure of short-burst thoughts posted to Social Media. Call it whatever you want. Truth is, it’s probably all of those things. And while I’m not particualrly proud that I haven’t worked out this muscle in a long time, consider the leaf turned over. I’m coming to back to longer(ish) posts and freshening up this dusty area. I’m doing this for myself, mostly – I just miss writing.

Simple solution: do it more. So I will.

This morning I was reading The Atlantic’s recent series of articles about dreams. Dreams have always fascinated me. In “How to Change Your Mind,” Michael Pollan’s captivating book about psychedelic drugs, he writes that our dreams are literally as close as we get to “drug trips” without actually ingesting the illegal substances. So whether we remember it or not, we’re all tripping every night. Right on! And somehow, “it’s Freedom Rock, man!” just popped into my head.

Back to The Atlantic. Of the handful of articles posted about dreams, the one that resonated with me the most was the one about recurring dreams, particualrly school-related dreams. The one that seems most common (and is referred to in the article) is about forgetting you signed up for a class, only to be reminded of it just before the final, dooming your planned graduation. I don’t recall ever having that one. But I do have two recurring dreams:

  1. The first one is actually school related: I can’t for the life of me ever remember my class schedule – and I find myself not knowing what class to go to next and subsequently not knowing what to do. Every day .It results in me just missing classes, never knowing my schedule and panicking.
  2. This one is hockey-related. I have somehow “made it” to the NHL and I’m in the locker room before the game, when I realize there’s a skate missing. Or perhaps some other piece of equipment that won’t allow me to play. I desperately look around for it and grow more and more despondent with each passing minute. I miss the warm-up. I hear the National Anthem from the locker room. I hear the roar of the crowd as my sadness in the locker room grows. The game begins. But I never get to experience it.

So the question I’ve always asked myself is “why these dreams?” The Atlantic, as they do, investigated this with Deirdre Barrett, a dream researcher at Harvard University and author of two books tied to sleep and dreams (I guess she has a dream job! Cue dad joke here).

“…these dreams tend to pop up when the dreamer is anxious in waking life, particularly about being evaluated by an authority figure.”

Kelly CONABOY (The atlantic, 9/22/22)

Well there you have it. Even at the age of 51, I’m still thrilled to learn and will definitely try to be more cognizent of what is going on in my life when these dreams appear.

In addition to encouraging us to connect the dots between our dreams and meaningful things in real life, the article also surmises that school-related panic presents in our sub-conscious and dreams so often because it is such a foundational part of our lives and where (arguably) a huge amount of life skills were instilled. This makes sense to me, though at this point school years (let’s call it 17) make up just 33% of my waking life, so I believe it to be more than that.

So what recurring dreams do you have? Leave a comment!

Anyway….happy tripping, er, dreaming.


  • Small world story:  Yesterday I get in a cab to go to LaGuardia to fly home and there’s another person who also needs to go, so we split the cab. She calls a few friends and tells them about “the worst day of her life.” I try to sink into the seat and be quiet, because it does sound like she’s had a bad day.  Then she tells her friend the name of the person she’s having a problem with and I snort. I work with the guy! Yikes! She knows it right away and tells me this is now officially the worst day of her life. She’s lucky, though, because I’m not a fan of the dude either. So her secrets are safe with me. Even if I was a fan of the dude, her secret would have been safe with me (I’m a trustworthy fellow, people), but she doesn’t know that. Still, a pretty funny story.
  • I picked up a copy of The Atlantic magazine a few weeks back and I’ve been making my way through the issue. It is a keeper! The cover story is about Barack Obama and how this country might change when whites become the minority (it’s coming sooner than you think). It’s a very good piece, written with enough pop culture references to keep us interested. The author is actually an old roommate of a friend of mine, too, so it was cool to see his byline. The other piece that I implore you to read is the article about Bob Fishman, a Director for CBS Sports. I did some interning/gophering with CBS Sports when I was in college and got to meet and watch Bob Fishman work at the 1992 and 1993 World Series. The man is a freakin’ marvel to watch. I mean it. Watching sports on television is a very easy job. Making it happen and presenting it to us is more work that you could EVER imagine. Watching that group of people present the World Series to millions of people, to this day, remains one of the highlights of my entire life. This article is the best attempt I’ve seen at putting that work into words. If you watch sports on TV, read this. Bob is also a tremendously nice man. He didn’t hesitate to stop and talk to the little college kid interning. Knowing a good contact when I meet one, I kept in touch with him as I explored TV sports jobs after college.
  • I have a component based home-theatre system at my house. This basically means I have a) a cable box, b) a receiver, c) an AppleTV box and d) a DVD player. The receiver, about nine years old, is on the fritz. I am now doing a complete reevaluation of the setup, wondering if the whole component-based system is still the optimal solution. I believe it is, but I’m not sure. First off, the DVD player will most likely go away entirely. We’ve used it exactly once in the past 18 months. The physical DVD era is coming to an end soon. Sure, some of our lack of DVD usage is because we had kids and we don’t watch movies as much, but MOST of it is because we have the AppleTV box (hacked with Boxee) and/or we use video-on-demand. So with the DVD player going away, that leaves us with AppleTV and the cable box  – and possibly a reciever. I’m curious to know if there’s a solution out there that would simply be ONE box that acts both as a receiver AND a media hub that stores all my media. I do love the AppleTV, but if I can minimize boxes (and the energy that they produce) , I’m gonna.