After I went into denial about the $130 grocery tab yesterday and just started making stuff, I thought everything was fine. Until 3:00 a.m., that is.

I went to bed feeling pretty accomplished. I had:

– baked the chicken for the Tex-Mex soup
– concurrently baked the turkey sausage for the Sausage and Mushroom Strata
– concurrently cooked a bag of pinto beans, some of which to throw in the soup, the rest to freeze
– made the Tex-Mex soup
– cooked a bag of garbanzo beans, some of which to throw into the Greek Salad with Sardines, the rest to freeze
– made the three helpings of Greek Salad, hold the sardines until I’m read to eat it
– washed all the kitchenware as I went, as I have a tiny kitchen (I reused the Dutch oven for three jobs without having to wash it)
– relaxed with a delicious Bellatoria frozen pizza and several tasty beers that I picked up at the Ale Jail the day before
– relaxed with three hours of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece

However, it’s true that I did no housecleaning in preparation for having visitors, nor did I do any of the work overtime that I could and probably should have.

But, I was asleep before 11:00 and optimistic that I’d be perfectly able to get up early to go work out and then continue on with a productive Monday.

Enter 3:00 a.m.

Okay, fine, I have to get up to go to the bathroom. With the amount of water that I drink, that’s to be expected one to several times a night. Usually I’m able to fall back to sleep immediately upon regaining my horizontal position.

Not so last night.

I am a more than occasional sufferer of Sunday Night Insomnia. I’m not going to look it up now for a link to information, but it is a recognized condition in which you can’t sleep Sunday nights because you’re stressing out about the work week ahead. 

I am stressed out about work. Last week, the entire office ground to a halt on regular projects so that we could bang out this iPad app that we are making in time for the Christmas hangover. That means I am now a week further behind on the work that I’m already behind on. That means that I know it won’t be long until it starts being wondered if others should kick in to help me, and once again I won’t be able to finish a couple of jobs that I have good ideas for. That means I’m stressed  out. Couple that with my self-inflicted stress about my parents’ impending Christmas weekend visit, and blammo! I was awake until after 6:00 a.m.

It is not helpful when that happens.

I had a reasonably productive day today, but the specter of stress plus PMS was lurking in the background the whole time. I tried to minimize the level of interaction I had with people in order to prevent as much crankiness as possible. I don’t think I was entirely successful. I wasn’t the only one who was a little off their game today.

The evening was a brighter note, though, as I bowled well (808 for four games) and am getting to bed before midnight. Hopefully I’m tired enough that I will sleep all night and get up in the morning for that workout I missed today.

Bowling dream

February 17, 2011


This isn’t about a dream of achievement such as becoming a professional bowler, traveling around the country, and earning gobs of money with all of my tournament wins. This is about the other kind of dream—the recurring one in which I am an utter bowling failure. Yes, I have a very specific bowling nightmare.

The setting at my weekly league is innocent enough. I am bowling along without incident. Sometimes, but not often, I have a perfect game going and it’s the 10th frame. But usually, I’m just workaday league bowling. Then, the wheels come off. Or rather, the ball won’t.

I stand on the approach and prepare for my shot. Sometimes in my dream, I can feel that things aren’t quite right with my grip of the ball and so I step back and regroup. Other times, I just plow ahead. Either way, when I get to the foul line and it’s time to release the ball, I can’t. This takes a couple forms.

In one, I stop at the foul line in relative control and re-swing my arm. Again the ball won’t release. I swing again. The ball stays firmly attached.

In another, I am unable to stop at the foul line because the momentum of my arm swing and the weight of the ball (which in reality is only fifteen pounds) just keep carrying me forward down the lane.

I keep swinging and I try flicking my hand to release the ball. It’s like my fingers are superglued in the holes. Then, all of a sudden the ball lets loose. Because I’ve stopped paying attention to my own alley and pins the ball’s trajectory takes it to the side, where it skips down the neighboring alleys like a pebble on a pond.

That’s when I wake up in a cold sweat of horror at my embarrassment. 

Nighty night

December 4, 2010


Sleep more. 

It sounds simple enough, but I have not been sleeping well this week. Monday night I woke up at about 4 a.m. and then laid there until about 7:30. Wednesday night I went to bed and laid there until about 2:30 a.m. Last night I stayed out for karaoke after bowling, stayed up to publish the results, and heard the 3am cuckoo before I fell asleep. Oops.

Since I last wrote about sleeping six months ago, I think I have only gotten more irresponsible with my bedtime. The point of that entry was that, because my weeknight bedtime had been creeping later and later, I tend to play catch-up on Fridays nights and will often then sleep until some crazy time like noon on Saturdays. That part is slightly better since I had to switch Curves locations and now, more often than not, work out on Saturday mornings. That means I have to get up around 10:00.

It’s frustrating when I’ve had an insomniac time like I’ve had this week. Under normal circumstances, I fall asleep pretty much instantly when I turn off my light, and if I have to get up for the bathroom in the middle of the night, well, I’ve caught myself nodding off while I was sitting up, if you catch my drift. Falling asleep is hardly ever an issue. But occasionally it is, for two main reasons.

Factor number one is out of my control. I know I’m genuinely stressed out about something to a higher degree when I can’t sleep. Usually it’s just garden variety Sunday Night Insomnia, but if I have pressure (from a big project at work, for example), that manifests itself with the middle-of-the-night can’t-get-back-to-sleep after I’ve gotten up mid-night. Very irksome but what am I going to do? That was largely the case Monday night, though factor number two was also in play to some extent, and entirely the case Wednesday night when I was anxious about some revisions that I had to make and a looming deadline.

Factor number two is, I guess, a little embarrassing to admit because it is entirely within my power to mitigate. It took some time, but I finally figured out that even though drinking puts me to sleep, a few hours later it wakes me back up when the alcohol leaves me behind. Based on my schedule of bowling, beers, and staying out afterwards, that usually happens around 4 or 5 a.m. If I’m lucky, I only lay there for twenty or thirty minutes, long enough to hear the cuckoo on the next half hour. If I’m unlucky, I lay there for an hour or two or more in an “extreme case.”

None of it bodes well for the next day at work. My bosses are great and ask that we arrive only by 9:30. That allows me to still get a few hours of sleep on fitful nights, but as I noted in the other post, I don’t do well with less than about seven hours of sleep.

So this week I had three bad nights. Monday and Wednesday as described above, and last night when, despite already being tired, I stayed out for karaoke after bowling against my better judgement. Well, we got the owner of the bar to sponsor our bowling team and we finally got our shirts yesterday, and wanted to go show them off and say thank you. I was only going to have grapefruit juice and sing one song, but I was well chuffed with how that one song went and ended up staying for two more songs until the end at 1 a.m. It takes about twenty minutes to get home, then I was eager to share the recordings with you all, and the next thing I knew it was after 2. Then when I turned my light off, I was still so wound up from the excitement of rocking the singing (as amateur, casual, karaoke singing goes) that I was quivering as I lay there. So I drew on previous experience and went back to doing one of my fall-asleep activities—reading, crossword puzzle or, in recent weeks, playing Scramble CE on my iPhone, lying down with the light out—hoping that I’d calm down enough to fall asleep. I remember hearing the 3:00 cuckoo.

So today from the moment I woke up I was looking forward to going to bed tonight. I even had visions of falling into bed the moment I arrived home. But did anybody really think I’d go to bed that early? I usually manage to stay up to watch “EastEnders” at 11:00 regardless of how “tired” I’ve been all day. And now here it is, midnight:30. I predict I’ll finally go to sleep at 1:30. 

Tired? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Me, right now

September 18, 2010


Take a photo of yourself right now! Even though I looked pretty rough, I regret that I censored (and deleted) my very first “right now” this morning. But I was embarrassed by the result of too much beer and too little sleep last night.

Instead you get my second, third, and fourth right nows. I came back to the camera after I had had my shower this morning and was feeling clean, if not a little fresher than half an hour earlier. I tried to get my cat CJ to join me but she was too busy buttering me up for her breakfast to pose nicely.

During the day, some people posted followup photos to their first ones, and in the seventh inning of the Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field tonight, I decided that would be the perfect scene for another shot. You can see that I and 40,000 of my closest friends are enjoying ourselves, despite the Twins’ subsequent loss to the Oakland A’s.

The weather was iffy today, and if there’s a chance it will rain, I park my bike at a nearby building under its overhang for shelter. (My office and Target Field are within a few blocks of each other so I just leave my bike where it is when I go to a game.) I guess because it’s a utility company they have good security, including a camera that monitors the front where the bike rack is. And something in its software motion detects and draws a red box around the mover. That’s me! I find it a little creepy that it can do that, but at the same time, sometimes I dance around a little just to see how the square changes size. I had snapped this picture to share my thoughts about it elsewhere, then couldn’t resist also sharing it with the other right nowers.

And now to bed so that I won’t have to be embarrassed two mornings in a row.

p.s. Check out the Me, Right Now Flickr group.


I???ve already extolled the virtues of hot water and the morning shower. I???ve said how I love to sleep and wish I did more of it. If you have pets yourself, you know that they can melt away the day???s troubles with a well-timed purr. That these things make up a feel-good trifecta is no surprise. What does surprise me is that in the suddenly summer weather we???ve been having, my flannel sheets are not too warm.

Mother Nature has been confusing us Minnesotans this spring. I don???t waste time getting the flannel sheets onto the bed in the fall. then we had an early warm spell, so I didn???t waste time taking them off as spring approached. Trouble is, the warm didn???t last for very long and we swung to unseasonably cool temperatures. The flannel sheets make a curtain call. The cool stayed around and the flannel stayed on.

Then, practically overnight, summer made another push into the scene. Being the cynical Minnesotan that I am, it took me a long time to be convinced that it wouldn???t snow again. The flannel sheets stayed on. Then, me being me, when I did laundry, I just put them back on rather than have to fold them up.

It has continued to be summery warm. I have flung open my windows. And I am completely surprised that I haven???t been roasting sleeping in those flannel sheets. I have come to this conclusion: flannel sheets aren???t warmer than regular sheets. They just seem that way in the winter because they???re fuzzy. They aren???t cold to the initial touch when you get into bed. You don???t have to wait for your body heat to warm up the points of contact.

Last fall I was surprised when an online acquaintance who lives in central Illinois???further south, more humid???said that he leaves his flannel sheets on year round. Now I know he???s not crazy!

June 2, 2010

I love to sleep

April 29, 2010


Don???t most people? I would think so. But I know one person, @aaronh, who seems to have superhuman abilities to exist on subhuman amounts of sleep. Four or five hours a night for weeks on end? Come on. I???m tanked if I have two nights in a row of seven or fewer.

I know other people who keep vampire hours and don???t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning. But that???s a little different, because @someToast doesn???t seem to knock himself out getting up in the morning, so the quantity of hours is probably still there.

I, on the other hand, neither stay up late nor scrimp on hours.??

That doesn’t mean that I don’t often feel like I wished I had slept more. In reality I get seven to nine hours of sleep most nights. The exception is Thursday nights when I stay out late after bowling, whooping it up at karaoke. I get to bed between 1:00 and 2:30, depending on how much I???m singing.

But most of the time I go to bed between, say, 11:00 and 12:30 and actually get up at 8:00. Since I???ve been writing this blog, bedtime has crept later. I sit down for some quick writing and the next thing I know, what I thought I???d dash off in thirty to forty minutes has taken me an hour and a half,??????????1` (cat landing on laptop) and it???s an hour later than I had in mind. That lateness is facilitated as well, I believe, by my afternoon coffee habit, which I am seeking to get out of this week. Caffeine has a marked effect on me and even if it???s only mid-afternoon when I have some, it???s enough to keep me feeling peppy later than I should at night.

Sleeping more than is practical isn???t helped by the fact that I have a nice bed, and give myself a sleeping environment that is low on temperature and high on covers. When you???re that comfortable, can fault be found that you just want to stay there? And if you???re laying down you might as well stay asleep. Plus, for me anyway, when I???m half-sleeping in the morning because my subconscious knows that I should really get up so it doesn???t let me fall fully back to sleep, my other subconscious is going to town giving me absolutely wacky dreams. I like those dreams a lot and I treasure the experience. It???s especially fun when the dream involves people you see frequently in life and is so vivid that the next time you that person, you have to wonder for a few seconds whether that actually happened or not. Sometimes in those dreams, I even do fictional work work, such as writing It???s a Baby Armadillo, and hang out with people I???ve never met.

There???s nothing not good about sleeping. Plus, you get to snuggle with critters.