1. I'm in a small open boat, tossing and heaving in 20-foot seas. I'm thinking, "At least I'm in a boat."
2. I'm fishing and feel a bite on my hook. As I'm reeling in my catch, I discover it's not a fish, but a cat. I have to reel it in to save it, but reeling it in drowns it. I'm crying as I try to resuscitate it. (Probably most readers know, a man drowned at IMFL.)
3. In real waking life, I am learning to play the violin, self-taught, country-fiddle style. In this dream,I'm accepted at a large university music department, to major in violin performance. I show up for my first session with my professional private instructor, who finds that I'm slightly better than Vera Violet Vinn (you have to know Dr. Seuss to get that.) After hearing me play a couple measures, she signals me to stop, shakes her head, and says, "Do not finish your piece. You should not have entered this institution." I yell, "That's what I'm HERE for! To LEARN HOW!!" She senses how much I want this and says, "Well, let's see what I can do to help you perhaps a little." She starts by saying I need a better bow. The one I have is about 6 inches long. But all the ones she offers me are useless: floppy, not rigid. One is made out of a straightened-out glow-necklace. None are wood or carbon fiber (even violin bows are carbon fiber nowadays.) I appreciate her (condescending) gestures but realize I am simply not prepared to play the violin; I don't even have a bow.