Awesome to read that.
I'm trying to keep my costs down on internet so I'll be quick:
About a verbalised thinking train turning to "nonsense":
It is not difficult I found to investigate this and work out the various levels between wake and dream type verbalised thought.
I found: if I have had a long day and have been staying up late / am getting really sleepy though haven't gone to bed/ struggling to kep my eyes open stage:
my verbalised thinking can start to produce rather supposedly bizarre connections and thought trains (as you have described).
I hadn't thought of those moments of edge-of-sleep as catching myself at the instant of falling asleep and coming back from the brink, but is like that I guess.
What I found: it's kind of a tricky skill to grab the data from these incidents of "slipping off into say different-type verbalised thinking" so as to write down what one experienced.
However, it is not difficult to gently collect observations from this thinking-boundary, it's not the kind of thing one plans for rather just when it happens you can be aware enough to note what's going on although as soon as you register (play scientist in your head) tends to switch back to wake-awareness again.
What I found is there appears to be in human beings generally I suspect, associated with word-thoughts all of the time even in wake-thinking; an undercurrent of much more freely associating patterns, words , phrases etc. In normal wake- thinking people are not much aware of where they pull their words and phrases from.
At a deeper layer: I found that the words and phrases that occur in more supposedly haphazard-looking arrangements; but from which normal thinking is constructed; these words and phrases I found seem to be spoken by various people.
What I'm saying is: it appears that one has a kind of theatre going on in one's head; various words and phrases seem to come from various sources. Now: I agree with professor Thomas Szasz that there is no such thing as shizophrenia (i.e. it is not a medical condition but a label for certain kinds of disputes over acceptable behaviour and personal and social functioning; a label used to jusify evasion of the issues in certain disputes and to justify the coercive control of alleged nuisance behaviour).
Now: consider the "mechanism" that you use when you think in words. I'll call that" "voice-in-one's-head" mechanism, or v-i-h mechanism.
What is curious about the internal theatre of various people saying various things; from which the assorted words and phrases are derived which deliver the final layer of normal thinking: it is that v-i-h mechanism that produces these "people saying things" at the deeper level.
That is something anyone can figure out by noticing the nature of their verbalised thinking when momentarily almost falling asleep.
I thought that was curious because so-called schizophrenics, I've heard, have been known to claim to be hearing voices that others cannot hear. But Szasz says that tests have shown that these alleged "voices" are generated by these individuals themselves. So I'm guessing that the so-called schizophrenics who claim to hear voices that seem external from other invisible people; that they are simply experiencing something that occurs in everybody all the time but which most people would have to deliberately un-cover by investigating thinking process during moments of slipping almost asleep when very tired.
Deeper than the discovery of the more random-looking verbal thought patterns (which you have discovered also as you say); deeper than the internal drama where the words and phrases appear to come from an assortment of roles or people (have you found similar?); the drama becomes more realistic and you have what we call "dreaming".
What I'm saying is that it is not that difficult to map each layer from dreaming right through to waking; and that such insights may throw light on those in our society who behave in ways that puzzle.
Also: I have hasd an experience when lying in bed dreaming and an alarm clock in reality is going off but I incorporated this sound in to my dream. Probably a lot of people have done that.
I also once was struggling to wake up and through bleary eyes I saw objects in my room but I was still partly asleep and these objects became different (skis might become a person for example).
I heard of someone gaining full directive control of surroundings so that real data could be manipulated giving a wake-data dream-control scenario. That was about two years ago I read of someone at a forum "weird science" at a physics website.
But I can see how it is possible given I've incorporated actual seen-items into occupying quite different roles and being part of a dream state.
Which you also experienced re: ball flying out of T.V. - guess that's same kind of thing (incorporating real-world items into dream-world experiences).
The other thing you describe is lucid dreaming; directing one's dream. Sounds like you had a cool time; if you can get that lucid inside your head while dreaming you could be very good at investigating consciousness I reckon.
Ever been trapped in a dream; struggling to wake up? I once was trapped in a dream; had a real struggle to wake up; actually "woke up" in my dream (but not in the world) but something wasn't right- it wasn't the real wake up! Was a real struggle to REALLY wake up!