Tag Archives: not sleeping

Did I Already Tell You About…..

Years ago…. like almost 8 years ago….I got divorced and bought a cute little condo out in Auke Bay, Alaska.  It was a tiny little place.  So small you had to go outside if you wanted to change your mind.

It was all mine.

All 600 square feet.

I could sit out on the deck and watch my favorite birds – Blue Herons – fish in the wetlands.  When bored, just throw some herring up in the sky and watch the Bald Eagles come swooping in to pick up their snacks.  Talk about excitingly scary!  It was awesome.

When I moved in on a Saturday morning a bunch of people came to help me carry in the boxes.  My new upstairs neighbor happened to arrive during our moving chaos.  I yelled out a hello to her and introduced myself.  We’ll call her Mary.  Right about this time one of my oh so funny friends decided it would be hilarious to loudly inquire where to put my box of sex toys.

I nearly swallowed my tongue.

MY —

WHAT?

We all got a good laugh out of it.  Mary didn’t know what to say and immediately went inside her condo.

Let me give you a visual of Mary.  About 5’3 and probably about 150 pounds.  Thick calves.  Outfit of choice?  Skirts and colored tights.  Shoulder length corse black hair – wavy.  Coats two sizes too small.  Probably mid-late 20’s somewhere in there.  Works half the year for the government and half the year at a bank. Sure.

Got it?

Good.  You’ll need it later.

Along with the sex toys.

Six months went by or more.  One day I look out the window and I see Mary coming up to the building wearing exercise tights.  She had obviously gone running.  Huh.  Okay.  Well, I’m not a runner so good luck with that one.

A few days later I notice Mary with a guy.  We’ll call him Josh.  Now you need a visual of Josh.

Think Hobbit.

That should do it.

Okay, you need more visual assistance?  He is about 5’3 also.  Wears baggy sweat pants and t-shirts.  Constantly has that Don Johnson 5:00PM shadow going on.  His laugh is atrocious.  Down right ridiculous.  Like a hyena.  This guy thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips….sadly he isn’t even the stale pickle (without snap) on the plate.

Not to mention he walked around like a Neanderthal.   I mean really Hobbit Man can you do something about those lead bricks you call your feet?  Even elephants don’t make that much noise.

The guy made me weary and I never actually met him.

Over the next few weeks the Hobbit comes and goes from her condo.  He’s obviously visiting from somewhere else and isn’t local.  He’s always over visiting on the weekends. I’m thinking maybe he’s a fish processor or miner.  Maybe he works on a barge or something.  Who the hell knows?  I don’t care.

Suddenly one day the Hobbit shows up and he has a beat up Toyota truck.  Rusty and a total POS (please read as Piece of Shit).  He’s here for a week and gone for a week.  Here for a week and gone for a week.

One night I hear him on the phone – cause he’s stupid loud.  Now, he’s just pissing me off. Going on and on about starting up some business.  Later, out at the dumpster I see boxes and cartons from some manufacturing company for “Buzz Bites” energy bites.

Hobbit + POS + Buzz Bites = you have to be kidding me.

Please note:  You are going to need to reflect back on both of their visuals, the idea of Buzz Bites and yes, the sex toys.

Finally, one day I go upstairs and knock on their door.  The music was so loud, even the people in my head were vibrating around.  The Hobbit answered the door as Mary wasn’t home.  I politely ask him to turn down the vibes before my chandelier becomes a nightlight.  I also explained how the noise travels very easily and if he / they could be a little more considerate that would be fantastic.

Oh, yeah, sure.  Not a problem.  Sorry.  Sorry.  Sorry.

Weeks go by and I’m sound asleep in my snuggly little bear bed one morning.  Slowly I drift out of my sound slumber and I’m like, “what the hell is that noise?”  I am half asleep and it starts again.

What the hell?

*More noise*

Now I am sitting up in bed.  The noise stops.

Huh.

I lay back down.

*Noise starts again.*

Wait.  One.  Minute.  You.  Pain.  In.  My .  Ass.  Neighbors.

I am fully awake.  The Hobbit and his thick calved girlfriend are screwing.  After a yodeling like crescendo….the Hobbit yells a Tarzan like yelp:

“OUTSTANDING!”

Then….Hobbit leaps off the bed (I know this because the change in my piggy bank rattled on the floor and I’m pretty damn sure T-Rex is extinict) and takes off running for the bathroom with her right behind him.

Good lord of mercy give me a break.   You have to be kidding.

On my way to work, I go upstairs and tape a note to their front door.  I left no doubt in mind what I was talking about as I simply wrote, “Good morning!  Just so you know I do hear EVERYTHING downstairs.”

Being kind and polite can go a long way.  Emily Post and Sarah Lee both think so as does Dear Abby.  I am certain this will solve the problem.  Don’t we all want to be good neighbors?

A couple days go by and guess what….I am sound asleep….in my snuggly bed…..again.

T   H   U   M   P

*

*

Thump.

Thump.

*

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

 

“I’M THE MAN!” 

 

Oh my god.  News Flash: No, you aren’t.

I am so not even kidding – I nearly fell right out of my bed with laughter and disbelief.  Yes, he yelled that.  Out loud!    Did  I fall down an acid lined rabbit hole when I wasn’t looking and I’m on a trip?  What the hell….can I rewind that?  What did you just yell?  Really?

Am I on Fear Factor?  No, wait it’s Candid Camera.  Oh – wait…I got it!  I’m on America’s Got Talent……. Snap.

I’M

THE

MAN

!!!

 

Who says these things?  Buzz Bites…..heavy calves….baggy sweatpants….

Really?

That’s it.  I’m ready for the next event.  I have my game plan.  You ignored my note.  I tried to be nice.  Now, I’m putting on the latex and grabbing my whip.  I’m so excited I feel like I should be the one yelling out.  Let the games begin.

Tick.  Tock.  Tick.  Tock.

It didn’t take long.  That night I climb into bed and before I can get into my dream sequence involving the ocean and floating along with the currents….BAM.

Hit the rewind button from earlier….

T   H   U   M   P

*

*

Thump.

Thump.

*

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Cue the yodeling.

Cue the Alaskan Minxy:  FINALLY – MY MOMENT HAS ARRIVED!

I leap up out from under the covers.  Standing in the middle of my bed…..jumping up and down like a two year old….I begin a rousing round of applause while yelling at the very top of my lungs:

“BRAVO!  BRAVO!  GOOD JOB!  BRAVO!  BRAVO!  EXCELLENT JOB!  BRAVO!”

Silence.  Cue the crickets.  Silence…………………………………………………

Then a burst of laughter for like two seconds – then silence.

Problem solved.  Never another peep.  Every time I ran into Mary from there on out – she never made eye contact.  Well, what’s awkward for you, is not awkward for me.  Thank you very much.

Lesson:  don’t mess with the Minxy.

Answer:  What?  No, I’m not telling you if I actually have a box of sex toys.

 

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Strobe Lights In My Sleep…They’re Keeping Me Awake!

It’s hard enough to fall asleep, let alone stay asleep. Like the annual arrival of Girl Scout cookies, my sleep pattern is such that if anyone needs a wake up call at 2:30AM – I’m your person. Want to play Scrabble at 2:45AM, I’m in. Need your dog walked at 3:00AM, call me.

Seriously.

Like clock work.

I’m up.

Sunday night friends came over for dinner and we watched Inception. Very interesting movie. I won’t give anything away, in case you haven’t watched it yet. But sure enough 2:30AM and I’m up pondering an entire scene where I should have gotten up to get my calculator to get the answer easier but no….I tried to do math in my head.

My theory on math has always been:
There are number people and there are letter people. I am a letter person.

Had I gotten up to get the calculator, even an abacus would have worked, my mind wouldn’t have still been rolling about at 4:00AM. No, I never did get the answer I was looking for…I needed more than ten fingers and toes.

Monday night, I had my better half download an app on his iPhone for me to try. It was an Inception Dream State thing you listen to with ear buds. Okay, this should be cool. Lights out, ear buds in, cats snuggled in…..one, two, three…sleep. Notta. I’m laying there listening to this music, which is on a short repeat cycle. Deep breathing, calming music….come on sleep!

As I listen to the dream sequence I selected there’s this great sound in the far reaches of the musical notes. Almost a deep drumming sound, hard to explain. I figured it was one of those deep sleep, sonic mind-wave tracks that was playing, lulling my mind to sleep. Amid the tingling waves and gentle notes I focused on the beats of this drum tone.

Veeeerrrrrrmmmmmm.

Veeerrm.

Veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmm.

Veeeerrrrm.

This went on for about ten minutes and I thought I felt sleepy enough to turn off the music and rid myself of the ear bud cords. (If I hadn’t taken those things off, I’m pretty certain I’d have wrapped myself up like a spider’s snack in a web of torture.)

Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing….and hey, there’s that drum tone again…but louder. For pete’s sake you have to be kidding me! Those weren’t dream inducing sonic mind wave drum beats….that was my better half snoring! The music had drowned the snoring out enough to make it seem like a lullaby. Drum beat my ass!

Last night, I’m exhausted after two nights of crap sleep. After reading 30 pages in my bedside book I finally feel strong enough to attempt sleep. I’m delighted. I’m out like a slowly burning candle.

Until I’m awoken by two Pterodactyl dinosaurs fighting.

I sit bolt upright in the bed. What the hell IS THAT?

Two cats in bed sleeping – check.
The better half in bed snoring – check.
I’m in bed awake – double check.

Certain death is being had on our cul-da-sac. I wonder for a moment if James Cameron is filming a new Aliens movie and forgot to tell the neighborhood. The screeching and rumbling is nearly ear splitting.

Now I’m fully awake and realize what’s happening. It’s the fucking road grater, clearing the snow in our cul-da-sac. Wait, we weren’t supposed to get snow.

Two things come to mind immediately:

1. If we did get a bunch of snow then the grater wouldn’t be making that kind of noise.

2. If we did get snow, our cul-da-sac wouldn’t get plowed for three days.

Which leads me to the conclusion they’re clearing snow at 3:00 in the morning, simply for entertainment. God isn’t even up yet at this hour! I get up and look out the front window. Sure enough, the street has been scraped nearly down to black pavement…..hence the screaming Pterodactyl Dinosaurs.

Apparently, this must be the annual, “Road Snow Beautification Sculpture Contest” for the road crews as our cul-da-sac is perfectly groomed and would make Tiger Woods proud, if placed on Pebble Beach Golf Course.

And the point of this at 3:00AM is what?

Idiocy.

Back to sleep I struggle, now that we have our beautiful snow green out front. I think of what the gentle golf announcers would say on tv:

“Watch out for this one ladies and gentlemen. Looks like the Idiot is going to go for the double birdy on this shot. Hope he sees that white SUV in the rough. Let’s watch.”

Double Idiot.

Finally, at some point I fall back asleep. I only know this due to the beautiful music I hear in my dream. It’s quite lovely, like a 12 piece band playing at an USO dance. Lots of horns and trumpets, quite nice really.

As the music continues, I start to wake up, only to realize it’s that damn road grater AGAIN! Now clearing the snow from the road behind our house.

Really?
Can this not be done by daylight?
Well now, it’s obvious.
Our road crew is made up of vampires.

I flop around in bed and open my eyes only to be greeted by strobe lights from the road grater. Is this all necessary? Only vampires who want to be golf course groomers are up at this hour…let the rest of us sleep! Let’s call more attention to ourselves and turn on the strobe…just in case they can’t hear us already. Like there’s a lot of traffic on roads that aren’t even secondary roads in the middle of the night.

Between the screeching Pterodactyl Dinosaurs, orchestra horns sounding from the backing up beeper and now the added disco strobe light…I can’t stand it any longer. I may as well get up…it’s 4:00AM.

Apparently, my cat FeeBee thought the same. She decided to get up and have a hairball. Lucky for me she managed to projectile aim it off my side of the bed.

Awesome, I’ll go get the paper towels….

Happy New Year – Whatever THAT Means

I couldn’t sleep last night.

Even the dog, who usually snores louder than Eric, was having trouble falling asleep. I think we were thinking of the same thing:

Damn those New Years resolutions!

There we were tossing and turning. My back hurt. My left foot had a strange scratching, burning sensation….which rather than look, I figured a spider was biting me – so I whipped my foot around in the bed. The heating blanket was too hot, so I tried to suffer through it – while I thought about stupid resolutions. The dog sighed and rolled around – obviously worrying what he was going to commit to for the next 12 months.

He’s got it easy. He already knows how to tell us when he needs to go outside. He doesn’t chase the cats. When encountering a strange dog, who is barking and carrying on, Tater sits down and looks at the other dog since it is obviously just out of the nut house. Lucky for us, Tater’s parents took care of the farting problem, so we don’t have that issue to contend with. Yeah, a 180 pound Mastif, farting — could singe your eyebrows right off. I don’t know what he’s pondering for his resolutions, perhaps more drool control.

I continue to wrestle with the sheets, the cats, the sweat – because I haven’t the energy to turn off the stupid heating blanket. Lucky for the cats, I’ve now created a sweat lodge under the blankets. Both are sleeping soundly under the covers.

Who invented the idea of making up New Year resolutions? Why New Year’s Eve? I get it – a fresh start. A new beginning. Well the pressure of it all is enough to put the weak hearted into a mild catatonic state of reflection. Besides, everyone has the same list of resolutions:

1. Loose weight.
2. Work less.
3. Eat better.
4. Spend more time with family.
5. Save money.
6. Get organized.
7. Learn something new.
8. Try not to stress as much.
9. Work out more.
10. Try something new.

The first week of January at my local gym – I always walk in and there are 20 new people. It always baffles me: “who ARE these people?” Oh, that’s right. The good intentioned. The New Years Resolution Group. Give it two weeks….and we’re back to normal. If gyms were smart, they’d put together a fitness program for the New Years Resolutioners (NYR). Ease them into it.

I remember last year there was a NYR gal – she jumped in with both feet, two arms and a bucket of good intentions. She had her new outfits, new sneakers, new towel, new water bottle, iPod and super cute gym bag. I figured someone must have given her the “complete package” for Christmas. How would that go over? I love you honey, here’s a gym membership, all the fitness gear required and a class schedule. Good luck! Hope the gift giver was on the same program, but I doubt it. Within a month she was gone.

In case you were wondering – I did some quick research on how the whole thing got started. According to an article written by Gary Ryan Blair, “The History of New Years Resolutions” :

The tradition of the New Year’s Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

The mythical king of early Rome, Janus, was The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.

Interesting. Well, I have some ideas on new and different resolutions for the New Year. Now, I am not saying they’re MY resolutions….but they could be someone’s out there in the big, big, world:

1. Don’t fart in elevators. (there’s two of us in here and it wasn’t me.)
2. Stop picking your nose in the car at stop lights. (we see you.)
3. Quit talking on your cell phone at restaurants. (yes, we hear you.)
4. Be nice. (It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.)
5. Don’t get your photo on http://www.peopleofwalmart.com
6. Never get a “significant” other’s name tattooed on you. (just a bad idea in general, as chances are 50/50 you’ll split up.)
7. Try not to get your drunk videos, where you break your teeth doing a keg stand, on You Tube.
8. Remember people can see when you roll your eyes at them.
9. Lock the bathroom door on the plane. (duh)
10. Drunk karaoke isn’t always a good thing. (hint: don’t sign up for American Idol.)

Needless to say, the bedtime sweat lodge I created, didn’t help me come up with any new ideas on New Year’s resolutions for myself. As I continued to toss and turn, listen to multiple levels of snoring and snow falling off the trees – hitting the roof with a THUMP – I decided one thing:

You should be your best self every day.

It shouldn’t be the first week of the year that you try to be a better person. You should try and be a good person every day, to yourself, your family, your animals and others.

And when people ask me, as they always do, “what are YOUR resolutions?” That is exactly what I’m going to tell them. New Year resolutions are about making changes – so why is it people turn it into a competition? No doubt, when people ask you for your resolutions they’re thinking:

I need some resolution ideas.
I have more resolutions than you.
My resolutions are better.
Your resolutions are weak.
Everyone says that.
Bet you won’t stick to THOSE resolutions.
Too bad you’ve got so many.
My resolutions are so much cooler than yours.

Drives me nuts. The competition of life is exhausting. That could be a resolution itself : to stop getting into life competition and just be yourself.

I decided, I’m fine the way I am. Sure, I need some adjustments. It’s like a chiropractor visit but different. My spirit needs some adjusting. Trying to implement giant changes in your life, I think, will have a high probability of failure. Nobody wants to be caught in the cycle of failure – that would be depressing. Small adjustments – lifestyle changes so to speak…are much easier to manage.

So if you are wondering what my resolution answer will be tonight:

To be my best.

Period.

Sleepless in the Serengeti

I love to sleep.
Curled up under soft, fluffy blankets.
Toasty warm and drifting off into a blissful wonderland of dreams.
There’s one problem – I’m not very good at it.
I’m like a cat with a sleep disorder.

Sure, I may be tired when I get into bed but as soon as my head hits the pillow, my brain lights up like Times Square. Thoughts pop into my head on jumbo-trons. I’ve got stupid stuff running through my brain like the NYSE ticker and it’s 99% pointless gibberish.

“Don’t forget to call the office to check messages….maybe I should do that now…..I have to look up that eggnog french toast recipe….I could do that now…..Should we have mimosas on Christmas morning? I like mimosas. That would be good. Do we have champagne? We’ll have to get champagne. Well I need wrapping paper. Maybe I should get that at Costco…..and I could get the champagne too. Did I shut the garage door? I should go look. I’m sure I shut it. Damn, is he sleeping already? How does he do that? Annoying. What gifts do I have left to get for Christmas? My iTouch is right here, let me just see if I can Google that eggnog french toast recipe. I need to send out the holiday cards. Well, I really need to organize my files. Should I use the computer labels or the Brother labels for the manila files? The Brother labels would be easier but the computer ones are nicer. I need to get another banker box. I could stop at the office supply store on the way to Costco. I don’t think I need to get the wrapping paper at Costco, that’ll be enough for three years. Wonder where the cats are at? I could be a cat. If I could sleep. Maybe in my next life I could be a cat. A well taken care of cat. With a fluffy coat. And diamond collar. And weekly manicures. In a house with lots of sunshine. Is he snoring? Seriously. Shut it. You’re already sleeping – now you’re just rubbing it in. Oh, here’s the cats. One cat, two cat. Yeah, everyone is in bed. Tater, giant dog we’re watching for friends, is on the floor. This is nice. I could read my book. Glad I bought the Nook – I can read in the dark. But reading would defeat the sleeping agenda. I don’t want to miss the sleep window. Maybe I could try deep breathing. (after 6 breaths) This is stupid. That lady at the grocery looked stupid in that outfit today. Should’ve snapped a photo. Mental note: put phone in pocket for quicker access. Why do people think pajama pants are acceptable outside wear? In winter? With a fake fur coat? And rain boots? With ducks on them? Ahhh, the small cat is happily purring away….she’s so sweet. I love her. I love her purr. She’s so snugly soft. She’s sleeping. She’s so cute. What the hell was that? Sounded like a lion. We don’t have lions in Alaska. Oh, the dog. He’s snoring. I swear I felt the bed rumble. Maybe that was my better half farting. If I didn’t know the dog was in the bedroom I’d swear there was another man in here. Oh big cat is sleeping now. That’s nice. She must be dreaming. Sounds like a duck quaking. Or maybe a small dog toy that squeaks when you press it. That’s what she sounds like. I should write that down. The squeaker. Seriously, better half, could you hold down the snoring? Damn. Yes, I know you’re sleeping. As soon as your head hits the pillow you’re sleeping. What’s that like? Stop. Snoring. Now. Shut It. Quiet. Shhhhh! You’re very loud. Seriously. Shut up! Where are my ear plugs?”

Before putting in my ear plugs I listen to the sounds of the bedroom:
One small cat purring contentedly.
One large cat dreaming of being a duck in another lifetime.
One homo sapien snoring like elephant with a sinus issue.
One giant dog who sounds suspiciously like a lion.
One sleepless chick whose brain activity sounds like a freight train.

Blink. Blink. Blink.
Sleepless in the Serengeti.