Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spinning My Wheels

I've made a commitment to get back to my best solitaire playing, but things aren't going so well. It's not that I don't have spare time, because as a funemployed person I have plenty. But for some reason I never feel like playing any longer. Maybe that's what separates the great from the transcendent. I am a prodigious solitaire talent, as any look back at my previous high scores in the past year would tell you. What separates me from the Bolts, Mannings and Abletts of the world, however, is that once I passed my goal of a 90 second game I didn't keep pushing.

The truly great among us never settle for just being great. That's what makes them amazing and enables them to achieve amazing things. Sadly, it also seems to make them complete and total tools in all but a very few cases. I guess there's something that goes along with the dive to succeed that also makes you realize that you are better than everyone around you. For proof, just take a look at Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

For now, I am trying to get myself back into a solitaire groove. With the lovely Scarlett Johansson as a back drop and the new Arctic Monkeys record playing I was able to post this 7400 in 104 seconds earlier this week. It's a nice score, but about 15 seconds away from where I need to be. Oh well, back to the grind!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shorn

The old saying "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" is right on the mark when it comes to my hair. Throughout most of my life I was openly dismissive of the gift I had been given by the hair gods. I never believed the woman who cut my hair when she would run her fingers through my hair and say how amazing it was. (she also told me I had eyelashes any woman would kill for)

Rather than appreciate the follicle gift I had, I would get up out of the barber chair, pay my eight bucks plus tip and walk out the door while putting my hat on. Just like I would put a hat on every morning from the time I was 15 till I graduated from college and had to get a real job. In all the years I was dating and wooing I covered up, what in retrospect, was my best asset. Not only was I dismissive of my wonderful hair, which my girlfriends all loved, but I was resentful of it. It grew too damn fast and it was so dark and wavy that it was a pain to care for. So, I covered it up.

Then it happened. About 4 years ago, in my 29th year, I started to notice more an more scalp while combing my hair. So I started cutting my hair shorter and shorter in an effort to mitigate the impact of the loss. That worked well through year 30, 31 and 32 but in the last few months it has gotten out of hand. I get it buzzed on the #1.5 setting and it looks good when I walk out of the shop. But as the sides and back grow at a pace consistent with my early 20's the top was stubborn. So I would get a hair ring that made the top look that much worse and gave an overall sloppy presentation.

I knew what I had to do.

So, this morning, and with Inky's help, I shaved my head for the third time. This time it was out of necessity, unlike my two previous sheerings. In May of 1994, the night after the prom, I shaved my head at a friends house before we went out for the post party's. The next day I neglected to take a hat along to Great Adventure and I got quite a sunburn on my scalp, which was not fun. From that point until January of 1996 I only got one haircut and my locks were as long as they had ever been. So long, in fact, that I had to move up one hat size to accommodate all the extra black silken loveliness. So, one lazy Sunday I walked into the bathroom and cut it all off and then proceeded to shave it bare.

When I shaved it today it was partly out of a sense of capitulation but also a bit of a tribute to my beloved Cats. The 2009 champs of Aussie Rules are lead by by three chrome domes who all played a huge role in the win. While I have very little chance of looking like Gary, Paul or Tom it is my nod to them all the same. Sadly, I find that a trim build somehow helps a guy pull off being totally bald. I don't really have that going for me these days, but I did each of the last two times I was shorn. God, I miss those days:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

By A Whisker

There's the "edge of your seat" kind of excitement and then there is the mix of excitement, nerves and the unknown that will make you forget you have a seat all together. That's where Inky and I found ourselves for about 3 hours last night, starting just past midnight. The Geelong Cats took to the sodden field of the Melbourne Cricket Ground to try and win their second championship in three years.

Inky and I sat in front of our TV helplessly watching as the Cats and St. Kilda Saints traded goals and fought over loose balls for 120 minutes. It came down to a tie score with just a few minutes left and the Cats summoned the courage to win the individual contests that propelled them to the final two goals and an 80-68 win (12.8 80 to 9.14 68).

It was a frenetic game that had tie written all over it toward the end. In Australia, there is no overtime in the Grand Final, and if the two teams are tied they meet again the following Saturday on the same ground to play it off again. And while delaying the gratification of winning the ultimate prize may seem foreign to us U.S. Americans, it would have almost been necessary in this instance, because I don't know if the 44 men on the field had anything left to give. They quite literally spilled blood and risked their well being to will themselves to the point of being tied at 67 with moments left in the game.

From there the Cats summoned all the magic that they have displayed while winning 65 of their last 75 games and kicked a both a goal and a one point score to lead by 7 with less than a minute to go. After surrendering a point to the Saints the margin was cut to just one goal. From there all outcomes were on offer. St. Kilda could get two quick kicks to win it, or kick one goal to force a rematch one week hence. The Cats could kick out the last few moments of the game two win by one kick. What ended up happening was just as amazing as the previous 119 minutes, with the Cats going the length of the field to kick another goal that only served to push the winning margin to 12 points, which, in the end, didn't really do this game a great service.

When these two teams met on July 7th, the score was also tied with just minutes to go. On that day is was the Saints who won by a score of 14.7 (91) to 13.7 (85). So with out Max Rooke's last goal the tally for the year was Geelong 24.15 (159) to St. Kilda 23.21 (159). Deadlocked, like an arm wrestle between two equally strong competitors. While we won the day, I'm sure the Saints will be back next year looking to exact revenge. I just don't know if my heart can take it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Mars Attacks?

My beautiful wife hates nothing more in the world than talking about the weather, so she'll hate this post. Being unemployed affords you a lot of benefits to go along with the crippling loss of income and health insurance. For instance, I never really have to worry about how to dress when I leave the house. There was a time when I would back and forth between the front door and the closet four or five times trying to decided if I should take an overcoat or not. But, that's behind me for now.

One thing I never had to think about taking when I left for work was a respirator. That wasn't the case for the 5 million people who live in and around Sydney the other day, when they woke to find their city enveloped in a cloud of red dust. The pictures, like the one above, look like something out of "Mad Max", "On The Beach" or some other post-apocalyptic scene. I'm sure Sydney-siders were shocked to wake up to an orange/red sky, but no one can really be surprised. The whole nation has been in a severe drought for over a decade which has helped to ramp up typhoons, wild fires and generally dry out the centre or the country. As I observed last year Australia's center looks a bit like the surface of Mars, what with all the loose red dust.

When that loose dust gets blown (that sentence felt oddly dirty to type, that's normally Inky's game) it can form a dust storm. When things are very, very dry and the wind is unabated that dust storm can rage across a whole nation and blanket a major city. In the end a dust storm is relatively innocuous, but it is emblematic of how weather can get out of hand, and that is not good for the rest of us. Between mud slides , wild fires, flooding, erratic temperature swings and the odd occasional killer hurricane we should be pretty concerned that we in the path of mother nature's storm. Literally.

I'm no tree hugger, but I do think we all need to do something to quell this tide. Think about how much potable water we use to to flush the toilet and then realize that graywater can wash away your poo just as easily. Everyone wants to make global warming and conservation into a wrong/right or left/right thing, but it just isn't. It's a live/die thing and it's happening in big and small ways all around us.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Every Boy's Dream

One thing that has always stuck in my craw is that I was the same exact height as my dad. Not that I know what a craw is supposed to be, or even where it is or how something goes about getting stuck there, but it did. A kid is supposed to be taller than his father. But, in so many ways, my dad (seen here at my wedding pictured with my Uncle Pat) will always be larger than life to me. For any kid who lionized his dad, the ultimate dream is to do better than him. While my current funemployment has set me back in that goal, I have managed to better him in one area.

The sub.

Not "A" sub; "The" sub.

I did a post a few years ago about how making this sub made me think fondly of my dad in the years since he died. In many ways it was a tiny way of remembering him, but I realized that he wouldn't have wanted us to be complacent in his absence, so I decided to innovate. And thus was born "The Sub 2.0"

I kept all the same ingredients: Genoa Salami, provolone, peppers, tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar, but I changed the preparation.

Whereas his sub was a loaf of bread cut to a pivot, I cut the bread into a top and bottom. I still hollowed out the top to allow for a pepper reservoir and dressed the bread with O & V. Then I layered the salami and cheese on the bottom piece only rather than placing it on either side.

The next innovation was to cut the tomato into slices rather than chunks. In his sub the chunks would be mixed in with the peppers, but had a habit of popping out the end of the sub and going rogue. I solved this by slicing them and using one smaller roll that has no open ends.

The last step is to take the top with its peppers and marry it with the bottom and its meat and cheese. The result: perfection.

I know the end result is markedly better than the old version, because I never put it down while eating it. I just sat there holding it and gazing at it while I devoured it. Upon seeing this Inky was so disturbed that she said "I don't like the way you're looking at that sub." Naturally, I blocked her out. She can't ever understand what the sub and I have. I want it. I need it. I have to have it inside me.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Step 2: The Brownlow



Two years ago this week, my Aussie Rules team had a three step plan to become champions of their sport. Step 1: Cut a hole in a box. Step 2: Put your junk.... oops, wrong three step plan. First, they beat the Collingwood Magpies in the Preliminary Final to earn entry to the title game. Step two in '07 was Jimmy Bartel winning the Brownlow Medal, which is the most prestigious award in the sport. Of course step three was the last Saturday in September when the Cats were crowned champs.

Things didn't go to plan in '08, as the Cats didn't get to beat Collingwood, didn't win a Brownlow and failed in their attempt to win back-to-back titles. Now, they are back on track. Step 1: A huge thumping of Collingwood this weekend. Step 2 (as seen above): Gary Ablett Jr. wins the Brownlow medal. Now all that's left is for the Cats to find a way to beat St. Kilda on Saturday. Maybe they'll be like the San Antonio Spurs who won the NBA title in only odd years.

Now, all that remains is for us to find a place to watch the game, since ESPN decided to put it on Classic, and DirecTV decided to put Classic in its more expensive package.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Marleigh & Me: Not So Super Market

I went out to do our grocery shopping yesterday, which should be a banal endeavour. But, there are a whole lot of strange people out there these days, so it wasn't just a errand, it was an adventure. I'll start, as all good stories do, at the end, while I was checking out. The people that work the registers at our market represent an interesting life dichotomy in that they are either really young or super old. Inky and I have learned to avoid lane 7 where the really old lady does her best Target Lady impression by taking her sweet time ringing up your purchases all the while talking about how expensive everything has gotten.

So, I went to lane 9 where I was waited on by a girl, who must have been about 16 named Marleigh. She worked quick enough, and at one point actually thanked me for putting things on the belt in easily baggable groups, which was nice. Then it got weird. As she was ringing up the last few items this happened:
Marleigh: So, how old are your kids?
Me: Huh? I think you have me mistaken for someone else.
Marleigh: Don't you have kids?
Me: Ah... no. Why?
Marleigh: Well... I just thought... because of the stuff you were buying... that you must have kids.
Me: Um, nope. No kids.
Marleigh: Oh. That's a sweet tattoo...."
As I swiped my card she continued to prattle on about my tattoo, even reaching over the belt and touching it at one point. I noticed that the lady behind me was getting pissed (rightfully so) and so I mentioned to her that I'd just like my receipt and to move on. She tore it off and handed it to me and bad me good day. I walked out of the store shaking my head. I couldn't believe how flighty some kids are these days, and I couldn't figure out just what the fuck I had bought that made her think I had kids.

I should have asked how old she thought these kid was, or, at least, what the item was. Was it one thing or a combination of things. I can assure you that my order was quite free of childlike items. There were no snack cakes, lunchables, sugar-laden cereals, juice boxes or fruit roll-ups. Just staples and sundry items like ground beef, chicken breasts, fruits and veggies, deli meat, toilet paper, tea bags, bread, paper towels, some chips and other regular things. I just can't figure it out!

This chick really has me on tilt, and I can't deiced if she was: A) Stupid B) Ignorant C) Oblivious or D) A super genius who knew how to send me into an "I feel really fucking old" tailspin. All I know is this doesn't happen when I do self check out, and I can do that in Spanish and not only get a kick out it but avoid being asked "¿A quĂ© edad son sus hijos?"
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Debatable Health Care

It's funny how a debate can seem a whole lot less debatable when you are living it. As wonks, politicians and talking heads all blather on about who in this country deserves to have health care, I am living the problem. For the first time in my life, at the age of 33, I have no coverage. I got a full time job quite literally the day after college graduation and with it came the much talked about benefits that were stressed as all important by parents and college advisers. Since then, Inky and I have always been covered, and thanks to the fact that I have always seemed to work for very solid employers, we've been covered well.

Obviously that all changed for us when I got laid off a few months ago. Sure, we were offered COBRA, but I still don't understand how that can be considered a real option for anyone who is out of work. The coverage for Inky and I would have been about half my monthly UC benefit, and that's not a good deal in any economy. So, until I get my next gig Inky and I are uninsured. I don't pretend that we are in a worse situation than the millions of people in this country who have never had insurance and may never have it depending on the outcome of the fight in Washington. I still don't know how we can call ourselves a Christian nation when people die of easily curable disease everyday, but that's neither here nor there.

I've never been a person who goes to the doctor all that much, but I find myself in a bit of a bind since I've been uncovered. Previously when I was confronted with an ailment I may have thought about going to see my doctor, but usually I toughed it out. I didn't dwell on much, and I fought my hypochondriac tendencies while always knowing that if shit got real I could avail myself of treatment. Now that seeing a medical professional is off the table, I find myself obsessing about little ailments and making mountains out of molehills. Or, at least, saliva.

It seams I have been stricken with Sialorrhea, or excess saliva. It started last week when I noticed that I was swallowing an awful lot as I was trying to fall asleep. I was coming off a pretty nasty cold and I chalked it up to a remnant of that. But, it persisted for a few days after that to the point where I was keeping myself up thinking about it. I looked around on the web and found that it really isn't anything to worry about, but, that didn't stop me. There's something comforting about hearing that from a person who spent 7 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their job that goes lacking when you read it on Mayo Clinic On-Line.

What's worse than my hypochondria is that I find myself avoiding things that may injure me no matter how remote the possibility. With all my free time I would really love to be out hiking all the time, but I'm worried about the one in a million chance of falling and breaking my leg, mostly because it's already happened to Inky. Her broken leg cost us less than $100 out of pocket thanks to my health insurance, but if it happened now we'd be on the hook for thousands upon thousands.

So you'll forgive me if I happen to be one of those people who thinks that every single American should have full health coverage. I've been to the countries that have "socialized" medicine and I have never heard a bad thing about it. I think it is deplorable that the richest nation in the history of mankind still lets people wither away and die because they aren't covered. I felt this way for all those years after college when I had a good job and fantastic coverage, maybe because I can empathize with people even if I haven't been through what they are going through. But, now I'm living it, and it makes me so mad I could spit. Lucky for me, I have a ton of extra saliva.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Back on Track

I ment what I said when I talked about redoubling my solitaire efforts. Last week I logged some good time with my mouse, and I was able to re-reach a previous goal of mine. I posted a score of 8427 in 90 seconds thanks in no small part to a great iTunes playlist and the Seat Girls.

So now that I've reached the 90 second plateu again, I can set my sights firmly on eclipsing my all time personal best of 82 seconds. At the time when I set that P.B. a few months ago, I could finish a game in double digits with regularity, so it was only a matter of getting a perfect set up and pushing myself to a minute and a half of less. Now, the sub 100 games are more of the exception rather than the rule, so it may take me some time till I get there. I have to continue to sharpen my reaction time and push toward an 81 or better.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Time to Move On?

I'm a 33 year old guy who has no kids, lives in an adopted home town with a reasonable mortgage that would actually allow for a reasonably quick sale. Inky can work just about anywhere she can plug her laptop in and pirate a WiFi signal. What I'm saying is this: we're portable. Some people are tethered to their current situation by jobs, financial considerations or sentimentality. We have none of these.

Firstly, York Pennsylvania will always be a special place for us. Inky is from Eastern PA and I sprung forth from the D.C. suburbs via the Garden State. But, we've now lived nearly half our lives away from our "homes" so we are not bound by any sentimental bond to our home town. Neither are we overly bound to our actual home. We've knocked 7 years off our 30 year mortgage and established this residence as the one we will probably always think of as our "first house together" even if we go on to own another place for more years. The problem for me is that I hate being a homeowner. I am downright awful at taking care of chores around the house, and on more occasions than I'd care to admit to I've wished there was a landlord I could call to take care of a problem.

I could leave this house with very little sorrow. Add that fact to the realization that the people around these parts aren't like minded in almost every way that counts and it's damn near certain that Inky and I will make for the boarder sooner or later. The fact that I don't have a job right now only serves to further my desire to cut and run, but that leads to one important question: where would we go?

I've looked at jobs in Boston, New York and Washington but their pay isn't incrementally more enough to account for the increase in cost of living. Since we don't want to go to a place smaller than were we live now we are kind of hemmed in. We need a progressive place that is affordable and would offer job opportunities. It's a big country, but not big enough to be overflowing with such Meccas. At least not on the East Coast. I really liked Seattle when I was there, and I have to think that I'd enjoy life in NoCal, but I've never spent enough time there to know.

There is one place I'd really like to go, but like the prettiest girl in school, you don't just get to walk up and tell her you're going to take her to the prom. She has to want you, and as it stands, that pretty girl (Australia) isn't interested in going to the prom with me. They are looking for people who can bring something specific to the table when they allow you to move there for work, and as it stands, I have none of what they want. Just like was the case in 11th grade.

So what's next? Maybe a sabbatical would be in order. Inky and I have a grand dream to one day take 7 months to follow the Geelong Cats for a full season. With the preseason factored in the journey would cover all the big cities: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Darwin. The Cat's overwhelming dominance of the league is on the downswing, but having diminished expectations would help take the focus of the endeavor off the footy and place it on living the experience.

I know it's a huge flight of fancy, but I've often been accused of being both flighty and fancy. The plan would require the sale of our home, with a large portion of the proceeds to be used to finance it. The rest would be our nest egg for when we returned; either to put down on the purchase of a new place or as a deposit on a really nice apartment where the housework is done by someone else. As for which city that home/apartment would be in, I haven't quite figured that out yet.

I know this is a plan that sounds ridiculous and wantonly irresponsible, but in a way, that's what makes it enticing to me. I have always been motivated to "take the (road) less traveled" because I've been assured that doing so can, in fact, "make all the difference." We'll see.
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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Gr8 Statue Caper: The Man of Steal

First things first: I have pilfered many an item in my life. From stop signs to wet floor signs and just about anything in between. You name it and I've stolen it. In college our apartment was a veritable museum of real estate signs, huge magnets from the sides of the cars on display in the mall and signs from the super market like sausage, .69 cents or "you must be 21 to buy non-alcoholic beverages." But I'm not an idiot, and I never tried to steal anything of any real value. The same can not be said of a few boys from Essex who tried to steal the man of steel last night.

Video cameras captured 4 local teens literally ripping Cal Ripken's #8 monument from its base in front of Oriole Park last night. Apparently, that is as far as these guys thought through their crime, because rather than hightailing it on home to admire their prize, they decided to just drive around with it. In the back of their pickup truck. For the whole world to see. Genius.

I understand a crime of opportunity, or at the very least, a crime of limited forethought. Walking home from the library (I was there to use the internet, not to study, lest my reputation get sullied) I came across a stop sign that had been hit by a car. All it took was two twists of the mangled poll and it was mine for the taking. Sure, I could have walked around campus with it under my arm for an hour but I didn't. I made haste in getting back to my apartment where we cut the sign free of it's post with a hack saw that I purchased at Wal Mart. That's what you do, you steal and conceal. You don't go on a victory lap.

I know that some people will ask what these guys thought they were going to do with the most famous 4 foot tall #8 in the world when they got it home, but that's not the point. I'm sure there would have been a protracted custody battle that would ultimately lead to one of them ratting out the other, but they never got the chance to live through that. No, instead they got pulled over on East Lombard St less than 3 miles from the ball park. That's just sloppy work, and for their lack of execution I think they should be sentenced to live the rest of their lives in Essex.

This is what the master criminals left behind of the monument:

Friday, September 04, 2009

I Don’t Want to Sound Like A Queer or Nothing...

I find it astonishing how fast time can move when you are just going about your everyday life. One minute you're an 18 year old guy moving into your freshman dorm; looking around to see who you want to eat lunch with each day. Then the next thing you know, a lunch here and there has turned into half a lifetime of friendship so close it is really brotherhood minus the DNA match.

I moved into my dorm on September 5th of 1994, fifteen years ago today. Once all the parents had cleared out, all the guys from my floor went to dinner together, as one big group. I had experienced this dynamic during the two years I had spent at an all boys boarding high school. I knew that the large group would get smaller and smaller by the day, until it ultimately devolved into cliques of varying sizes. A whole lot of those guys didn't know that, however, and on that first night some of them were exclaiming how we'd all be friends for life. While some of us would, others quickly fell by the wayside.

When there are 60 guys on a floor it's hard to single out the ones you think you may want to hang out with, so you look for little clues. Like, perhaps, a common interest. So when I saw a guy who liked the same baseball team I did, and then found out that he came from an area where some of my family lived, that was as good a start as any. That's why XL and I started talking, but it's not why we became friends. Ultimately, it was an easy back and forth along with complementary personalities that made us good friends. Eventually, but not at first. It started with the Baltimore Orioles, The Eastern Shore of Maryland and a debauched night at a frat party.

Fifteen years ago it was XL that was a non-drinker and the greazy one who regularly reached double figure beer counts. So on the third night we were on campus that large group went out and I got positively shit faced, which lead to some trouble. The DJ was playing the L.A. Style song "James Brown is Dead" and I took exception to this proclamation. Words were exchanged, and after a while, punches were exchanged. I was quite literally thrown out of the frat house. XL had seen it all, and upon recognizing me as the guy from his floor with the Orioles hat, he helped me back to the dorm.

The next day he came by to check on me, which was a real stand up thing to do. The show "How I Met Your Mother" talks a lot about the bro-code, and this was going above and beyond. As the weeks went by, XL talked me into going to the radio station with him, which lead to me changing my major to Communications. As the first semester came to an end, and I got the chance to move out of the dorm and move in with some older guys, I offered my room to XL so he could get away from his crazy roommate.

By the time freshman year was over, we were good friends. By the time college ended I counted him as my best friend. In the subsequent years the guy who helped out a drunken fellow O's fan has become the second most important person in my life. All the road trips and the things we've done together started on that day, 15 years ago today. I'm sure glad I was wearing my Orioles hat, or else I might have missed out on the best friend a guy can ask for. Although he always calls middle:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Breaking News: Cure for the Common Cold Found

While bigger and more complected ailments have been felled in the past, the common cold has long persisted as one sickness that researchers have not been able to conquer. Try as they may, they have not yet figured out a way to stay a head of the rapidly mutating virus that sweeps through schools, work places and families. Inky and I were saddled with a cold last week that effected up both differently, but severely in each case.

While Inky couldn't stop coughing, eventually all but losing her voice, I had to deal with 100% congestion and wicked post nasal drip. Day after day we fought with our symptoms and tried, fruitlessly, to get some rest. We drank lots of liquid and took some regular cold remedy while popping cough drops like candy. Thinking it was just a day or two long affliction we were running to the convenience store to get a 30 count bag of Halls just about every other day, which was not only annoying but also wasn't helping. So we went bulk, and that's when the breakthrough happened.

Not 12 hours after we got the 200 count bag of cough drops and the big box of the good Sudafed (you know, the kind you have to get from the pharmacist because people were using it to make Meth) I was cured. There it is: the cure for the cold. Just buy way more medicine than you need and you'll be left feeling better, and with a massive surplus of said remedy.

I await my Nobel Prize.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Sleep

We spend almost a third of our lives doing it, but, in my opinion at least, there is nothing more frustrating life function than sleep. I find it more frustrating than weight management, and I'm a fat guy. While some people just get into a pattern of sleep, I've never really been afforded that luxury.

Even as a young kid I would take any opportunity to stay up late. If mom let me stay up for Carson, I wanted to watch Letterman too. For a while when I was at the Seminary I was forced to live on a very regimented sleep schedule: up at 6:00 AM and in bed by 10, but when I was home in the summer it didn't stick. Then, it was off to college where I had a grand total of 3 classes in four years that started before 10 AM. So, needless to say, I stayed up awfully late then too.

After college, I had a bunch of different jobs that saw me try and hold down all sorts of crazy sleep schedules. Working in TV, baseball, on third shift and in the suit and tie world always kept me on my toes. When I worked over night I used sugar and caffeine to keep me up and succumbed to sleep in the mornings. Once I got to my last job, I struggled with the 9 to 5 world and often found myself fighting insomnia or dealing with only a few hours each night. The nights of quality sleep were few and far between, and in the end I realized I was getting old as I started napping whenever I could.

Since I've been of work my circadian rhythm has been all over the place. (as a side note, I'd like to point out that if I ever start a band it will be called Circadian Rhythm Section, and the drummer and bass player will wear pj's.) In the first few weeks of my funemployment I was staying up later than I did when I was working. Then, we went to see my family in Maine. During the trip we started getting up at 7:30 and going to bed at a bit past 11. When we got back home, Inky and I kept up with the schedule and remarked a few times how we were really enjoying it. I thought, perhaps, that I was growing up.

Then, we got sick.

We both got a cold, but, it manifested differently in each of us. Inky got a bad cough and lost 80% of her voice. I lost 100% of the ability to breath out of my nose and two boxes of tissues and countless cough drops later we had wrecked our schedule. Over the last 6 nights it became common for me to be up till 5 or 6 AM, and sleep till 11 or noon. It looks like Inky and I both are starting to kick this thing, and so perhaps we'll get back on some semblance of a normal sleep pattern. Or maybe we'll just move to the west coast where 2 AM is actually 11 PM and 10 AM is 7 AM.
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