Posts tagged ‘sleep’

Who buys the first round?

9 August, 2011 | | No Comment

Putting the kids to bed is always an exercise in continuing education.  Tonight was no exception. 

  • The Reigning Queen of Pink wanted to know why her cheap stuffed bear was leaking, and if said bear could be fixed with bubbles.  Yeah, dip the wand in, blow the bubbles at the bear’s paw.  Um, probably not the best option.
  • The Human Tape Recorder wanted to know what Fascism was, in detail, and how it differed from Republican political theory.  Because, you know, I’ve got THAT off the top of my head all the time. 
  • Number One Son told me as I turned off his lights that it was just stupid that we not only had to pay for, but had to pay taxes on, our electricity and gas usage to cool and heat the house.  He was quite riled up about it.  He’d been watching YouTube videos of other people playing The Legend of Zelda, and I really hadn’t realized they were world-building at QUITE THAT LEVEL of detail in these games. 

I walked back upstairs thinking about all this.  “Great,” I said to SOBUMD, “so a Fascist, a Socialist, and a Blonde walk into a bar…”


Strong Coffee = Strong Passwords?

27 October, 2010 | | 4 Comments

When I was a much younger Man Doll, SOBUMD and I ran a web-hosting company, because we’re geeks like that.  We had clients and everything.  Now, after learning a lot about starting – and stopping – a business, we have one client left.  Ironically, she was also our first client, and I continue to maintain her website because she’s become a dear friend.  (Also, she pays us regularly, which while nice is no longer the primary motivation.)

Last night, I went to her house to review things she needed to review with me, which after more than 10 years has become something of a tradition:  I come over 2-3 times a year, in the evening after work, and she makes Coffee.  The capital letter there is required to convey the true meaning of the drink that she pours me, which is to the pansy-assed, weak-kneed, undercaffeinated bilgewater you can buy at Starbucks as the lightning, to steal from Twain, is to the lightning bug.

Have you ever seen a ceramic coffee mug cringe in fear as you walk toward it?

Last night was an even more rare treat.  To put this in some further context, my client is in her late 70s – she can see 80 without getting on her tiptoes.  So you can imagine the dual reactions of terror and horrified anticipation fighting in my sub-cortex when I heard her say, “Well, the percolator I usually use seems to be broken – it was my mother’s.  So I have to use the Old One.”

Now, you know the ‘usual’ one has to be from the 50s – all modern, with plugs and stuff.   It turns out the “old one” is a big ceramic sucker that goes on top of the stove – it’s probably 80 years old, and it’s gorgeous.  It also percolates coffee until you take it off the stove.

Assuming you would want to take it off the stove.   Someday.

“Well, this is the Columbian coffee, from you-know-who.”  No, not Juan Valdez, but it took me a second, too.  She was talking about the handyman she uses for all jobs big and small, and who tends to hand-carry coffee back from Columbia for his friends when he goes home on vacation.

So now we have really good, hard-core coffee, being percolated to within an inch of my life.  Did I mention that it’s around 7:30pm?  Right.   (“Why no, I haven’t slept yet.  Why do you ask?”)

The best part of the evening, though, was talking to her about password strength.  You can probably imagine my concern at the words, “Well, I heard that you should use long phrases as passwords, so I’ve been changing a bunch of my passwords.”   I mentioned that passwords were great things to strengthen, as long as they were memorable.   (For the record, I consider this somewhere between ‘concern’ and ‘self-defense’ on my part.)

And here was highlighted for me one of the biggest differences in working with people of different generations.   What would you, Gentle Reader, choose as a password phrase that you will remember, and cheerfully type into some widget several times a day?  Some spit of doggerel?  Some random quote or line of favorite poem, or cool concatenation of names of wives and kids and cats and kits?  Yes?

How about the epitaph that you’ve already had engraved on the headstone you’ve already had commissioned for the cemetery plot you bought yourself last year?   “No, I guess that’s probably not something you’re going to just up and forget next week, is it?”

Because that’s what I want to be typing in all day.  Talk about always looking on the bright side of life.  Cheerfully whistling in the dark, that’s her.  And my hat’s off to her, I’ll tell you that.   Mind you, with that coffee, she’s unlikely to need the plot anytime soon – I mean, she might pass into the Great Beyond, but I doubt it would slow her down any.

CPAP… See Pap run. Run, Pap, run.

5 September, 2008 | | No Comment
It has long been a goal of the Big Ugly Man Doll to experience everything life has to offer. All of it, the good, the bad, the squishy. It’s hard to claim that one is sensational if one hasn’t experienced as many sensations as possible. 
To that end, some time shortly before we went to Chicago, the BUMD went for a sleep study.  As you read the events that unfold below, I want you to remember that I paid money for this experience. 
If you’ve never had a “Sleep Study” then you don’t know what you’re missing. Ah, the warm smells of the antiseptics they use to wire you up the monitors. Oh, the joy of sticking to the pillow as the EEG glue smears around your head. And then, the piss de resistance (and that is not a typo), the joy of having not one, not two, but three different sets of equipment attached to your schnozzolla.   The theory is twofold:  (1) some people stop breathing while they’re asleep and (2) that’s bad.  Elements of this theory are often debated.
Now, I’m usually the last one to complain – or if not absolutely the last one, I complained about the service at lunch today, which is pretty recent – but really, the nose is a delicate instrument. Even one the size of mine, which is not inconsiderable (which is an understatement). Even so, we’ll put a tube with an oxygen sensor in one nostril, and then since we don’t actually make enough money doing sleep studies to afford reliable equipment, we’ll put another one in there – you know, in case the first one doesn’t annoy me enough, or malfunctions, or gets lost in the forests of hair that grow like a triple-canopy jungle up there in the Caverns of Darkness.
Once I’m frigged, rigged, and wired for sound, they deliver the punch line: OK, go to sleep. Right – I’ll just nod off here, shall I?  I’m taped and glued up to wires on my legs, arms, chest, neck, back, temples, and hair; I’ve got elastic bands around my chest (big) and belly (bigger!) to monitor my breathing, and you’re watching me with a closed-circuit television, infrared, and a microphone over the bed.  (OK, so it’s a lot like a Thursday downtown, but that’s another story…)
“Well sir, is there anything I can do to ‘help’ you get to sleep?” 
She’s not really asking me this, right? I’ve had this dream before, so I know I must be sleeping. “Well, a sponge bath would be really nice right about now…” 

“Sure, just one moment, honey.”  She ducks out (which is doubtless noted on the system monitoring my breathing), and in a few minutes the door creaks open in a slow, sultry manner. 

“Youse need cleaned?” asks the biggest guy I’ve seen on the ward so far. His nametag identifies him as ‘Bob Have A Nice Day’ and he’s carrying a 10-gallon bucket, sloshing with what something gray that I’ll just hope was water, and a huge mop. 
“Nope, thanks, I’m, uh, I’m good. All good here. Nope, clean as a whistle here, thanks anyway, though, um, Bob.”  I don’t like this dream anymore. 
“Have a nice day,” he mutters in a cheerful monotone, wandering off. 
Having surprised all parties by actually falling asleep, despite visions of Bob pole-dancing with his mop rolling through my subconscious, I woke abruptly when the cheerful tech came in to see if I needed anything else, such as having a CPAP machine rigged up to – you guessed it– my poor overtaxed, oversized schnozz.  Oh wait, this wasn’t an option, she’d decided I damn well did need to experience it. I figured if I yelled she’d be back with Bob Have A Nice Day, so I held still while she Velcro-ed my nose to the hose. 
The hose, if you’re not familiar with a CPAP system, is connected to a machine that’s usually used to test wind resistance and velocity for aircraft. This is to ensure that you don’t stop breathing while you’re asleep. The theory is that as you sleep, the constant wind will push your airway open and you won’t stop breathing. The reality is that as you struggle to breathe around the four sensors already stuck up your nose and struggle not to drown in the gale-force winds being piped into your sinuses, you’re not going to fall asleep. There’s no danger that I will stop breathing while sleeping.  I may try to kill myself with all these cords, but I will not stop breathing while sleeping. 
Right. When you’re tired enough, you can fall asleep on a roller coaster. (OK, I was drunk that time, but you know what I mean.) Having surprised all parties by actually falling asleep again, despite the wind machine in my nose blowing cold dry air on my throat, I was woken at 5am by the tech returning to tell me I’d survived, time to go, please unhook and get the heck out. A quick shower and I was a free man, free at last. I went home, made a nice pot of coffee, and promptly went to sleep.  

Check another experience off the list. 

Counting Sheep

22 July, 2008 | | No Comment


When you’re as big and as ugly as I am, it comes as a surprise to some people that I actually sleep in a bed. (Of course, I only sleep for 2 hours and 17 minutes every 26.5 hours, but still.)   Anyway, if you’re like me – and I am not for one minute suggesting that you are – it’s possible that you, too, sleep in a bed. With a mattress.
It may have sheets. 
And if you do sleep in a bed, and it does have sheets, then this post is for you, Gentle Reader. The rest of you are invited to observe only.
Most sheets are made from mattress-repellent fibers, which makes them excellent for use while hiking in the marshes of Squornshellous Zeta, but less effective for covering standard bedding on much of the Sealy, Serta, Simmons, and Tempur-Pedic planets nearer our own sun. In fact, you have likely woken up more than once to find yourself with your face pressed to a bare mattress, sheets wrapped around your ankles, wondering what happened. At least one of those times, you didn’t also wake up wearing “loud shoes” and having an “inexplicable” headache. It was just that the sheets were trying to kill you. 
Yes, those lovely percale cotton bitches with the flower pattern that doesn’t really go with the drapes as well as you think it does, those things want to kill you. I’m convinced that when you’re not home, all the bed sheets bunch themselves up, grab the remote, and turn on Chuck Norris and Vin Diesel movies. (I’m certain that explains the pay-per-view charges. And who knew sheets like porn? You’d think they’d have seen, well, anyway that’s odd.)
So, since the sheets won’t stay on the bed for the 2 or so hours that I’m relaxing (with my eyes open, of course!), I’ve tried a few tricks to keep the fitted sheets firmly attached to the mattress. I will share them with you now:
  1. Straps
  • Effectiveness: Not Very Effective
  • Downsides: These are single-purpose straps meant to clip the sheets to the mattress. The sheets viewed them as “single use” and fed them to the dust bunnies when I was sleeping. I never found them again.
  1. Superglue
  • Effectiveness: Very Effective
  • Downsides: High cost of THAT much glue makes this an expensive option. The glue did seem to stun the sheets. Also, wait until the glue dries before getting into the bed. I cannot emphasize this enough.
  1. Staples 
  • Effectiveness: That Was Easy (But Only Moderately Effective)
  • Downsides: The sheets were able to turn many of the staples during the night, so that they either let the sheets pass or, in several cases, actively participated in the cause. I woke up wrapped and bleeding, looking far too much like Christ at about the 10th station than I prefer. 
  1. Duct Tape 
  • Effectiveness: Moderately Effective
  • Downsides: Since “percale” is actually French for “Teflon” the sheets were too slippery for even the inimitable Duct Tape to adhere well. I had to wrap the whole bed, getting the roll of tape under the mattress (between the mattress and the floor). Needless to say, I promptly got a call from the ASPCA about my heartless murder of 3,472 dust bunnies who had been building a culture of values, harmony, and understanding under my bed until they got stuck to the tape. I say fuck ‘em.
  1. Fire 
  • Effectiveness: Abject Failure
  • Downsides: This attempt didn’t go so well. The only things to survive in the room, in fact, were the fireproof sheets (which did NOT melt into the mattress like I’d hoped they would) and 2 cockroaches, who got high while watching 862 dust bunnies shrieeeeeeeeek as they hopped around, lighting each other on fire trying to get out. I had to buy a new Sertans-Pedic. 
  1. Quikrete 
  • Effectiveness: Moderately Effective
  • Downsides: Hard, and itchy if you get in before it’s cooled. Also, as with the glue – don’t test it until it’s hardened. Believe me. Just take my word for it. 
  1. Negotiation 
  • Effectiveness: Abject Failure
  • Downsides: I asked the sheets what they wanted. They showed me a book entitled “To Serve Man”. Bitches.
  1. Couch 
  • Effectiveness: Very Effective
  • Downsides: I just bought that new Sertans-Pedic. Besides, the dust bunnies miss me. The cockroaches told them that the sheets lie, in exchange for me dropping a few buds now and then. 
If you have any ideas that have worked for you, or that you think might be worth a try, I want to hear from you. 
Because I can hear the sheets giggling.