1. I am with my sisters at home. We're going to a birthday party later on in the day, and we're trying to think of a suitable present for the kid. The kid whose birthday we're celebrating is in L&E's class, a real pain whom we can't stand in real life. For some unknown reason, the most befitting gift we can think of is a nose ring piercing. He doesn't yet have his nose pierced, so we're going to get a gift certificate for the cost of piercing and buy him a nice ring to go along with it. Most of this dream was spent with me trying to get everyone involved in the van to go to Wal-Mart and buy the piercing. Once there, we agonized over jewelery choices for some time, finally deciding on a black ring.

2. I am a detective on an inner city beat, and my team and I are investigating a series of similar murders. In each case, the victim's skull has been cut away and specific brain areas have been removed. We're on the scene of another murder which appears to be associated with the same serial murderer. This victim, a young, pretty blonde woman, has had her amygdala removed, with other brain regions virtually intact. (Due to my BS in neuroscience, I've been a real boon to the team as of late.) Near the woman's body, we find a man's skull. This skull has been picked clean to the bone -- whether by time or actual cleaning, we don't know yet. The skull's got a characteristic circle cut away over the posterior portion; we know that this man is yet another victim of this bizarre brain-coveting killer. We go through the backlogs of unsolved murders, and we match the skull to the body of a victim recovered in the mid-nineties. Apparently, this killer has been at work for over a decade and has just now chosen to be more forthright with his methods. We ponder his motives as we begin to pore over the crime scene.