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Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'd Like to Write You A Check for Your Unused Sleep

The end of another 80% work week and I’m here to tell ya that starting next week, I am back to 100%. So on the one hand, YAY! I’m working full-time again! And on the other hand, BOO! I’m working full-time again!

And once again, in keeping with the unrealistic faith I put in my iPod and its ability to predict the future, we beseech it: O Mighty iPod! Give me some sort of warning!

Outta-Space by Billy Preston
Red Hot by Jurassic 5
Neat Neat Neat by The Damned
Universal Mind Control by Common
Sunshine Superman by Donovan
Keep the Car Running by Arcade Fire
Treat Me Like Your Mother by The Dead Weather

Oooh. I don’t like the looks of this. I had a friend once – once! – who got this kind of reading and next thing you knew, she was picking political fights at keggers. Something about the combination – the Donovan tune in particular – makes people go crazy.

And speaking of crazy, any less sleep and I'll be eligible for some sort of monthly check from the government.

I've never been a good sleeper. At one point, I actually took a prescription sleep aid, but I hated the fighting-my-way-up-from-the-bottom-of-a-pool feeling when the alarm went off and stopped taking it.

And then one day, after going without sleep for three, I found myself at the bus stop, headphones on, dancing.

It was 7:15, I was at the bus stop, and I was dancing.

This seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I was exhausted, but by God, I had rhythm - and was in danger of becoming the subject of someone's blog.

Area Woman Dances to Music Only She Can Hear - Neighborhood Mourns Loss of Decorum.

When I got to work, the man I supported at the time stood behind me as he dictated.

“Dear Sir comma. Double space. It has come to our attention comma…”

Normally, I can let this go. I appreciate the fact that he thinks that this might be my first job – I do try to take care of myself! – and that I may be unaware of the look of the modern business letter.

Normally, his dictating punctuation would just be so much fodder for lunch-time tales. It's a package deal -- he drives me crazy and I tell funny stories about him.

It's not what I'm paid for, but I saw it as the bonus I wouldn't be getting.

This was not a normal day, however. I’d gone without sleep for almost 72 straight hours; and I responded as any woman under those circumstances might.

I burst into tears.

Poor man.

After ascertaining the problem, he pushed me out the door – Take your time! Take your time! – toward Target, telling me how to spell “melatonin”, where it could be found, and who to talk to should I become confused.

Since then, I have taken one melatonin, every night.

That was six years ago.

But the spell seems to have worn off and today? Today is Day Three of not sleeping; and I am again in danger of finding myself dancing at bus stops or chasing pigeons with loaves of bread.

Let me know if you see me doing anything crazy, would ya?

29 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Benadryl and a shot of whiskey. At least that's what this one woman I knew did. She swears it works.

Suzy said...

I'm an insomniac myself. But I take 2 Unisom every night. That helps and I don't mind feeling groggy in the a.m. because I'd rather have the sleep.

Maybe it's just the anxiety of having a new job that is interrupting your sleep? That would do it for me. But I agree with Ellen about the Benadryl and a shot!

Pearl said...

ellen, that's not a bad idea.

Suzy, I think it's a combination of a financial stress and the fact that I tend to be a non-sleeper anyway. I'm either going to get really funny later in the day today or I'm going to be hysterical. I can't wait to find out which one it is! :-)

abby jenkins said...

I take that bus to Crazytown every day we should share a seat sometime!

I was in the habit of taking Valerian- an herbal supplement- when I was restless and unable to sleep. It helped but I found I was groggy in the a.m. Maybe I'll try melatonin to battle my insomnia, probably won't get as many midnite bedside table lists of things to do written but my husband will be happy!

Pearl said...

Ahhh, the Valerian. I used to take Valerian, Abby, but then went to Melatonin. I still prefer it over anything else, but maybe I just have to accept the fact that sometimes I just don't sleep...

Jayne Martin said...

I live on a lavender farm. No, really. We actually make organic lavender oil from the plants. You can buy it at any good health food store. Anyway, put a few drops on your pillow every night. It doesn't stain and it will really help you relax.

Pearl said...

Jayne, so far, that is the coolest thing I've heard today. :-) A lavender farm! Why I oughta...
I'll try it. Thank you!

mapstew said...

You know me, 'Up all night Map', and not the 'good' up! :¬)

Tonight I will be taking a large dose of black stuff, as prescribed by Dr. Arthur Guinness!

xxx

The Jules said...

I also have trouble sleeping. I'm okay at night and in the mornings, but the afternoons can be a problem. Unless I'm all full of pudding.

You need to pretend everynight is a Sunday afternoon.

Also, how strange that your ipod predicted a comment FROM THE PAST!!!

Spooky.

Pearl said...

map, Guiness is a gift from Our Lord and confirmation of all things good. Maybe I just need a beer!

Jules, I'm glad you stopped by. When I saw your comment from yesterday I had to laugh as I had JUST heard The Damned on my iPod this morning!
Now for some reason I need to hear ukelele music...

Kr√ęg said...

Don't neglect other hallmarks of the crazy & under rested, such as yelling at rocks and staring at the wall for hours on end.

My insomnia vaporized with exercise. Exercise and beer.

Jack White is the anti-Donovan, so you're lucky that coupling that Dead Weather track with Sunshine Superman didn't destroy the universe. There Is A Mountain would have ended things for sure.

Daffy said...

Long Live NYQUIL

The Jules said...

Might I suggest The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britian?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3gp7B8WC4Q

Pearl said...

Good God, Kreg, I downloaded There Is A Mountain about two weeks ago. Can you imagine what would've happened had the two Donovan songs shuffled their way on to the same day?!

Daffy, a little Nyquil, a little Guinness, next thing you know I'm singing karaoke and the downstairs neighbors are calling the cops...

Jules, you might. :-) Back in a jiff.
Ooooh, Jules, that was just the best. And "The Good The Bad and The Ugly" to top it off! No one does silly and talented quite like the British.

Mad's mom said...

I'm w/ Map. Guiness cures so many evils. Wow, even your comments are great and wonderful. (Love the lavender oil on the pillow...and here I thought it stained!)
Do you have a voice recorder for the "I may be really funny" part of your day. Not that you're not already really funny but you know, your memory fails ya when you're missing sleep.

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Pearl,
Can you solve a mystery ?
Does Liza Bean Bitey ( of the Minneapolis branch ) speak Chinese and is she leaving me comments on my Blog ?

Douglas said...

I learned, a long time ago (it seems) that drinking more than 2 cups of coffee a day aided and abetted the Sleep Robbers. So I greatly reduced my caffeine intake. Now that I am a codger, I get to nap whenever the mood arises and coffee has lost that effect (acting now only as a laxative). That may disqualify me from giving advice on this subject.

Carol said...

Somehow I bet you get that slap happy grin on your face even after 3 days of no sleep.
Hope ya' catch some zzzz's soon.
The few times I have fought with insomnia I ended up doing shots before bed and it seemed to break the cycle because I basically passed out. But melatonin is a favorite back-up.

Pearl said...

Mad’s Mom, the commenters are pretty hot, aren’t they? It’s one of my favorite parts of the days, reading these smarties…. And now you’re one of them. :-D

Barbara, Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) does indeed speak a smattering of Mandarin but has not been allowed on the computer since spilling a small container of heavy whipping cream into the keyboard. :-D I know about the Chinese guy. He’s hit me a couple times as well but haven’t seen him in months…

Douglas, very funny. :-D I do have one “venti” (AKA “large”) cup of coffee that takes me all day to drink. You think that might be it? I am nearing codger-dom… maybe things are changing for me?

Carol, I am in a great mood, actually, despite the lack of sleep. And tonight? I predict several large beers…

Berowne said...

>>I tend to be a non-sleeper anyway.<<

Reminds me of a time, years ago, after a night or two of no sleep, I decided to drive all the way back home from Pennsylvania.

As it turned out, I finally did get to sleep, but I was awakened suddenly by some rude nearby noises --someone was honking at me.

I couldn't believe it. I had gone to sleep while zipping along the highway at 65 miles per hour! The driver behind me had sounded the reveille.

I got off the highway and parked, then stretched out on the back seat and slept for a good two hours. I never got to thank my good samaritan.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Pearl, Guinness and good sex hen. It'll be the sleep you're wanting after the both.

Trust me..

mapstew said...

Oh yeah, the sex, I forgot aboot tha! (Thanks our Jimmy!) :¬)

mapstew said...

In fairness, I do forget aboot most things affer the Guinness!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I take Source Naturals Melatonin orange flavored sublingual 5 mg.

I take one every night.

And when it starts working, I shut 'er down. Right then, right there. Just shut my eyes.

If I take more than that, I have a hangover.

I also take Natural Balance 5HTP .

Those two supplements really help me steady down and be way productive the next day.

Last question: You may be starting (gasp) menopause.

troutay said...

I wish I could sleep. I swear I counted every car that drove any where near my house this night.

I love my sleep and it feels like torture to have to get ready for work before I have had decent rest.

I am with you Pearl. Here is hoping we both sleep this weekend

My name is PJ. said...

I have taken 2 benadryl every night for years....Melatonin didn't work for me.

Madame DeFarge said...

Not sure about the whisky, but cocktails work very well. Even if I don't the next day.

Christine Gram said...

Wow... Donovan. You might consider staying inside this weekend.

Gaston Studio said...

I keep melatonin and another OTC sleep aid in my medicine cabinet 'cause I'm also an insomniac at times. I recognize the 'plunging down time' and 'getting my second wind', the latter is when I act, sound and look like I've had 20 cups of java and it scares the hell out of most people. At least you dance!