Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts That Go Bump In The Night

It began uneventfully. Bed at 10:00 p.m. as usual. Hours later something awakened me. A dog barking in the distance? A car door closing? I glanced at the clock: 2:00 a.m.

"If I fall back asleep right now, I'll get four more hours of sleep."

But the "night thoughts" started. Random, stupid, annoying things that keep the mind awake:

That conversation earlier today - no, I guess that would be yesterday now. Why do we say African-American? I would bet that very few Americans have ever put a toe on Africa. My buddy P** is African-American. She hasn't been to Africa. Does she even call herself African-American? I've never heard her say, one way or the other. Make a note to ask P** about that. What about people of color who live in...let's say...Scotland? They wouldn't be African-American...surely.

There are a lot of syllables in that phrase as well. We like to abbreviate everything, so that's odd. We're getting lazy. Names of leaders...There was FDR, and JFK, and MLK - and then the shortest of all - W. Then there's LOL and TBA and FYI. "I've got the 411 on that."

If I fall back asleep right now, I'll get 3-1/2 more hours of sleep.

What program was it tonight - no - by now it was last night - someone said, "I bet most Americans can't even name the 9 Supreme Court Justices." I think I could. Rogers, Ginsberg, Kennedy, Scalia, Alito, Stevens, Sotomayor - I wonder how she spells her name. S-O-T-O-M-A-Y-O-R. Right? Now I lost count. Alphabetically - Alito, Bader-Ginsberg, Kennedy, Rogers, Scalia, Sotomayor, Stevens, Thomas. I wish I had a camera with me when I met Clarence Thomas. Why didn't I think to bring a camera? I could have asked someone to take our picture. He's short for a man. I wanted to genuflect and kiss his ring when I met him. I got so nervous. I think I said something dumb - I can't recall. Did I name nine? No. Eight.

If I fall asleep right now, I'll get almost 3 more hours of sleep.

I had a feeling Snape would turn out to be a good guy in the end. In fact I knew it. I told John so. I knew it right from the first. I don't forgive J.K. Rowling. That was mean, what she did. And that comment she made about Dumbledore. If it didn't happen to the character in the books, it didn't happen, right? I mean, they can't have a life outside the books themselves.

Did I let the cat in?

Did I turn off the oven?

What ever happened to those Northern Nights sheets? The sage ones. They were crisper than these. These are Egyptian cotton and soft. Maybe I need crisper sheets. Am I cold? Should I get up and get another blanket? I'll wake up too much if I get up, and...

If I fall asleep right now I'll get almost 2-1/2 hours more sleep.

Oh, blast! I have to get my car tags tomorrow. No - I guess that would be today. Why do I have to get them again? I just got the car in February. Didn't I pay tax, tags and license at closing? Make a note to pull the paperwork out of the glove compartment. Why do they call it a glove compartment? Does anyone ever put their gloves in the glove compartment? Why not call it the paper compartment, or owner's manual compartment. I don't think the car has a cigarette lighter. On second thought, I know it doesn't. When did they stop putting cigarette lighters in cars. I don't smoke. It doesn't matter.

I did let the cat in, right? I remember calling him. I'm not getting up. I know I did. Didn't I? I turned the oven off, I'm sure...but I think a light is on downstairs.

My hours weren't good enough last month. I have to do better this month. Let's see...this Friday is the half-way point in the month. After Friday I'll have 11 more work days - no 10. Because the 31st is a holiday. So, I have to be at...what? 80 by Friday. What do I have so far? Was it 40? or 42? or was it 38? If I do ten hours a day for the last ten days, that's 100 right there.

If I fall asleep right now, I'll get another 2 hours of sleep. That will be fine. Good enough anyway. will be "bagels in the kitchen" at work tomorrow - I mean today. They do that every time someone has a birthday. I wish they'd just forget about mine. I usually skip the bagel thing. But I'll have to have one It will be for me. So I have to. I hope they don't make me eat the bagel while they watch. I'll say I'm taking it back to my office to "save for later." Damn carbs. Well, then, I'd better give up red wine if I don't want carbs. No more wine. Maybe just for the occasion and then that's it. I'm serious.

I wonder what movie is in the DVD player? I wonder if I can work the clicker in the dark? Oh, good. You've Got Mail. I did it. There's the tune..."Dreams are nothing more than wishes and a wish is just a dream you wish to come true..." Give up. Watch a movie...Breyer! Justice Breyer. That's nine. Does he spell his name like the ice cream? I'll look it up tomorrow - or today. "If only I could have a puppy, I'd think myself so very lucky..." continues the tune.

If only I could fall asleep right now, I'd get 1-1/2 more hours of....zzzzz


  1. Grad, I love your stream-of-consciousness writing! It is definitely worse to wake suddenly at 2 or 3am than to not be able to fall asleep in the first place. Hey, what about coming up with alternative meanings for all those annoying txt abbreviations. Lol could be "Little Old Ladies"...That's for next time you can't sleep;)

  2. Happy Bagel Birthday, Graddikins!!!!! Is it today? The 13th? I hope that despite insufficient sleep you are feeling appropriately fabulous today. The Darklings have instituted necklaces for all birthdays and other significant events, so that even though we're apart, we're all still connected and celebratory in spangly spirit. I have to don a necklace for a Darkling today (a significant event) but it will be for you too. By the way, if it's any consolation, you are not alone in this mid-morning rambles, although yours are of much higher quality than my own.

  3. Hey! This just ate my comment!!!! How rude! I was trying to say Happy Birthday!

  4. Bibliophiliac, I'm not sure which is worse. I seldom have trouble sleeping, but every now and then I can't turn off my thinking process and I might as well just give in because nothing I do seems to help. I do like your idea, though - especially since I have no idea what most of those abbreviations stand for.

    Thanks Doctordi! It is May 12. I like the idea of having spangly spirits! Katharine gave everyone in the Sanctum Sanctorum (movie nighters) a sterling silver wishbone on a neck chain. Thus we became "The Royal Order of the Silver Wish Bone" - very secret society.

  5. May 12 is also the birthday of my beautiful 19-year-old Siamese cat, Lorelei Lee. OBVIOUSLY a day for glamorous girls.

    This is weird, but I had a few hours of sleeplessness the other night and was also naming the SCOTUS justices in my sleeplessness. I had the HARDEST time with Clarence Thomas. Maybe if I'd met him........

    Happy post birthday, and sweet dreams!

  6. Tinky, I am honored to share a birthday with the lovely Lorelei Lee! 19?? Wow, that's wonderful. What's that in cat years? Clarence Thomas is from Pinpoint, GA a little community right outside the Savannah city limits. He grew up in grinding poverty and is a true role model for all young people who have to struggle. He is very much loved and respected here. I met him and his wife soon after his confirmation. I think all of Savannah showed up. He was quiet and gracious and took time to speak to everyone in the long long line. I was impressed with him in a way I seldom am with anyone. Thanks for the BD wishes.

  7. I've actually always wanted to be in a secret society. That whole Dead Poets Society thing gets me every time.

  8. That IS weird, btw, that you were both naming Supreme Court Justices during a spot of insomnia... is this a common thing where you come from...?!

  9. Happy Birthday Grad! I hope you enjoyed your bagel :) I rarely have trouble sleeping but when I do my night goes very much like yours, just can't turn off my brain! But at least you turned it into an entertaining blog post :)

  10. Happy Belated Birthday!!!

    Loved, loved, loved this post! While I don't try to name the U.S. Supreme Court Justices (but may try next time this happens to me), I do often (too often!) have nights like this when random thoughts come to call and sleep is annoyingly elusive.

  11. Doctordi, consider yourself an honorary member of the Wishbones! And yes, I guess either naming the Justices, or trying to recall all the words to "Stairway to Heaven."

    Stefanie, I did enjoy it actually. I picked a cheddar cheese bagel, untoasted, no cream cheese, and a big cup of Starbucks. I figured I'd do a few minutes more on the Total Gym.

    Insklinger, those maddening thoughts! Grrr. Although, you never know when a great idea will hit at 3:00 a.m. and you invent something like Liquid Paper or Post It Notes.

  12. Wow, what a wonderful post. I know very well how a night like yours feels like. I have them very often:)

  13. Happy belated Birthday, Grad! Hope the bagel was yummy. And am impressed with your naming of the Appeal Court Judges. Will have to ask my dad (the retired judge) if he can do the same. He loves to tell the story about Sandra Day o' Connor and the football player who were sitting next to each other at some dinner. The football player got progressively plastered and before he fell asleep, turned to SDOC and said, "lighten up, Sandy baby, you're too tight!"

  14. how familiar! i love the way you wrote this!

  15. Honest? Fantasic! I am grinning from ear to ear - this honorary membership has made my day!!

    I like the way you use your insomnia to flex your mind and memory, Graddikins. I'm really going to have to lift my game in the wee hours.

  16. This was such an interesting post. I just loved it. I haven't been able to name those Justices since junior high. :<) Even though I don't smoke, I hate it that they stopped putting in lighters. Smokers are so discriminated against. I know, I know it isn't pc to like smoking but geez a lot of people do. And what could be better than You've Got Mail! I found you via a comment on Tinky's blog about not liking rhubarb, and I wanted to come and tell you I have a bunch of delicious rhubarb desserts on my blog that might tempt you. In fact, you might not know there was rhubarb inside. :<)