Archive for category Non-Fiction

Great Expectations

The countdown is running. As of today I believe I am 15 weeks into a 40 week timeline. And yes, you read that right, everyone calls it nine months, but it’s 40 weeks.

One of the most frequent questions you will be asked after telling anyone you are expecting a child is, “Are you excited?” It’s such a loaded question, but the expected answer is that you will be absolutely ecstatic. After all, you’re both fulfilling some sort of biological imperative AND you get a cute (maybe) baby out of the deal. Sweet, a two-fer!

To me, that question is far too complex to ever possibly hope to answer truthfully and completely, so I just place my hands in my pockets, shrug up my shoulders, tilt my head, crook the corner of my mouth and say “Oh, yeah. Excited.”

I am excited. I’m pretty good with kids and spend a fair amount of time whenever I’m out spotting and pointing out cute little kids to my wife. But I also am  equal parts terrified, unsure and already not looking forward to certain things, and I think that’s entirely natural. I am excited to welcome a new baby into the world because baby’s are fun. They’re cute and have hilarious rolls of fat in awkward places (fat knees! Who has that?!). They make fun noises and it’s a blast to watch them learn things, especially if you’re the one who taught it to them (a crowning achievement for me remains when I taught my niece to run around going “Om nom nom nom”). I mean, come on, it’s a baby. It’s pretty hard to not find anything at all to like about a baby.

But see where things are going already? I’m excited, but what am I excited for? Cuteness and fun. Those have to rank easily in the top five of things that it’s pretty easy to be excited for. Cuteness and fun do not, for the record, a baby experience make.

I’m terrified about how I’m going to assist a child to grow up into a functional human being. Have no doubts about it, there are approximately eight hojillion bazillion ways to just totally screw up a kid. And I have no doubt that I will instill a healthy numbers of flaws despite any and all of my best efforts. I just hope they’re the small ones. I like to think that I’m good at giving advice. These things are common sense, by and large. When I offer advice, though, I’m shooting from the hip, working on the fly. Frequently I’m postulating ideas about situations and people and the world as I talk, fitting pieces of a puzzle together as I go. A child takes planning. There are behavioral patterns to establish. Examples to set. Disciplinary measures to mete out. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think any number of books on child-rearing are going to prep me for that.

I’m unsure about how much my life is going to change. Another question you’ll get is “Are you ready for it?” Pfffft. Anyone who says they’re ready is a fool. Hit them in the face, too. They might be on the drugs. You may as well walk up to me and say, “Hey, how are the next two decades of your life going to turn out?” I hope it’s going to be nothing but ridiculous, uncontrollable fun. I know that it won’t be. There are going to be hard times. Sickness and injury. I’m going to powerless to help in situations that will be tearing me up inside many, many times. My wife have been together since May 28, 2001 (note to self: bookmark post in case in a few years I can no longer remember anniversary date). We’ve been married since May 28, 2006. We are not party animals by any means, but we are accustomed to a certain lifestyle. What will happen to my friendships? I don’t doubt that some will change and perhaps even fade away. What will happen to my hobbies? Can I keep writing? What about playing games or watching TV? Reading comics? Hanging out with the guys on Sundays? I don’t know that any of these items will still be things that I can enjoy. I may not miss their lack when the time comes. The decision as to whether or not I can continue them is not mine to make, though. The needs of raising a child will dictate that to me when the time comes.

And what of my wife and I? In close to nine years together, we’ve still never had a major argument. We’ve never yelled at one another. We fight and annoy each other plenty, but they’re the kind of spats you’d have with any of your close friends and forget about as soon as a commercial comes on that you both like. Soon, we’re going to be tired, stressed and opinionated. It’s going to be difficult to tell how we’ll be able to maintain the same degree of emotional involvement and attentiveness with one another. I plan to focus very heavily on keeping this at current, optimum levels, but it might not be possible because that’s just how things go.

I won’t spend too much time on things I’m not looking forward to already, as I have plans for other posts specifically devoted to those items. Suffice it to say that I’m not a huge fan of handling poop.

I’m sure I’m painting the portrait of someone who is not, in fact, jazzed to be having a kid. What I am, though, is a dude who wants a kid, wants to have one around this time in his life, and is trying to be very realistic and very prepared for the ups and downs. I don’t want to have a kid and then be disillusioned by the child. Things are going to change, and be funky and difficult and awesome.

So, am I excited?

Oh, yeah. Excited.

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It’s a Mom’s World

The Mom gets a pretty raw deal. To start with, there’s the actual carrying of an infant to term. There is no analogy for a man. Outside of contracting a disease that plays havoc with your hormones and having a tumor weighing on the order of eight pounds in your abdomen and then trying to pass said tumor through your more sensitive bits, there’s no possible way a man can really fathom the process. By all accounts it’s a very unnerving, sometimes wonderful, typically uncomfortable proposition. Once the child is born, its apparent the process has wreaked no small amount of havoc on your general physique. If you are breastfeeding, you are then, by necessity, up every few hours all night long for a few months to respond to a hungry newborn. And then, all to often, let’s be honest, the lion’s share to entirety of the responsibility for raising the child is hefted upon their shoulders. Throw in a day-job and you’ve got a party.

But that’s not what we’re hear to talk about. What of Dad? Browsing through the staggering amount of on-line and print material related to childbirth and childrearing, the answer is clearly, “Who? Oh, that guy. He’s got a chapter over there in the back.”

These books take the standpoint, a priori, that the father is an afterthought. Entire chapters of content will bear the impression of being written for both the parents in mind until a throwaway sentence drops in, “Try to encourage Dad to do this as well.” Or “This is something the father may enjoy doing with the baby from time to time.” There are little breadcrumb hints scattered about that suggest that you’ll need to prompt a father to give a rat’s ass about his child. He will need to be cajoled and convinced that his help is appreciated and that it might even be fun to hang out with a baby.

Books that are for fathers tend to be thin, or primarily focused on humor in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge, stand-up comedy in the 1990s “What’s up with women, huh guys?” kind of fashion.

This is my principle impetus for this blog. I wanted to create a resource for Dads in any phase of their Dad development. I wanted to write something that assumes at the outset that you are or would be the kind of father that wants to help out. You want to be involved because it’s not your partner’s child that you are allowed to see (well, the court’s may have deemed that to be the case for some of you—but I can’t help you there), it’s your child together. It was created via a joint effort (sexiest way of phrasing that ever) and will be raised the same way.

But at the same time, you are still a guy. Nay. A dude. You have hobbies, fears, concerns, expectations, a job (maybe) and these are all things that are part of the process. Sure, once you and your partner are pregnant it becomes basically the only thing you talk about. It’s an omnipresence, a nine-month time bomb. It does not, however, become your entire life. Even if you’d like it to be, the outside world marches on and you need to remain lockstep with it.

I’ll be covering it all. I write this thing three times a week. I’ve got six months left until the baby is born and I can’t imagine I’ll have less things to say about the process once I’ve been through it and there’s an actual child in my hands. You can expect a great many posts about all of this. There will be a pretty good breadth of topics, from observations to what amount to diary entries to tips and tricks, but I want my central message to remain the same.

You’re a Dad, and you’re not alone.

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The Triumphant (Sort-of) Return

Where have I been, you ask? I have been to Boston for a wedding (not my own) (also, not my wife’s) and have been swamped with falling woefully behind in my NaNoWriMo writing schedule. About 7,000 words behind, to be sort of precise.

The weekend was great. We wandered through Boston, walking or taking public transit, bought ourselves tasty treats and enjoyed a cold in the air more refreshing than oppressive. There seems to be an odd reticence among Bostonians to wear sunglasses that I found unnerving. I’d throw on my shades and walk the streets and catch side-long glances, as if I’d donned the preferred facewear mobsters everywhere. I must be hiding something behind polarized lenses. Considering that the city this time of year is filled with with men and women wearing gigantic coats you could hide entire mercenaries inside of I wasn’t sure what earned me special attention.

Wearing a huge coat is immensely satisfying. It’s a layer of fashion you don’t get out on the west coast and while I’m not sure that I would trade the ability to wear one comfortably for weather that would cause me to need to, it is depressing that splurging on a really bitchin’ winter coat is an excess I don’t particularly need to indulge in. Wearing a heavy, calf-length, double-breasted winter coat over a suit is one of the surest ways I can think of to look like a total badass. Throw in the sunglasses and then…

I find that I enjoy weddings much more now that I am married myself. I can imagine the feelings shared by those involved and what it means for them and their families and trying to look for the little moments when they are most nervous or touched or surprised really make the whole event richer. This wedding in particular was wonderful, despite the best efforts of the pastor.

He didn’t miss anyone’s name or trip and topple the wedding party like so many dominos, but he did belabor a point. Before he began his officiating, he asked that photographs be, preferably, foregone entirely with the exception of the professional photographer at the event. This, in and of itself, is fine. “No flash photography” has become one of those rote commands that we obey in a Pavlovian manner. I don’t imagine anyone would have thought twice about that admonishment and most would have taken it to heart (or trained reflex, as it were). But, verily, he was not done yet. He then explained that taking the photos meant that you were distracting yourself from participating in the special event that you had been invited to be a part of. Again: who can argue with this? It is sentimental as well as accurate. Savor the event along with the bride and groom. And then this.

“Besides, let’s face it. Your photographs wouldn’t be any good anyway.”

Record scratch. Spit-take. Scooby and Shaggy saying “zoinks”.

The ceremony ground to a halt before it had begun for me. There’s a delicate line between firm reminder and surprising chastisement, and clearly Father LastName had figured out where it was. I don’t know about you all, but I know I like to start my joyous occasion by reminding all in attendance that they are in some way sub-par.

It may be that I pay too much attention to amusing phrasings, though. Maybe no one else held onto that phrase as if it were covered in adhesive, but I couldn’t stop focusing on it. This habit paid off the next day at the airport as the gate attendant in Boston’s Logan International Airport proclaimed at least three times over a loudspeaker to one-hundred-odd people (perhaps also one-hundred odd people) that: “We will have a full flight today and so we may not be able to accommodate all rolling carryon luggage. If you would like to check those bags we will be doing that today free of charge to help extradite the boarding process.”

And now for some photo outtakes, click to enlarge, if you please.

Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

This is pretty much exactly what it looks like.

This is pretty much exactly what it looks like.

It does not get better from other angles.

It does not get better from other angles.

Not a bad view from the hotel room.

Not a bad view from the hotel room.

Milady takes a pretty mean night shot.

Milady takes a pretty mean night shot.

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The Late Halloween Post

It’s okay, dozen-or-so-readers-who-are-not-immediately-related-to-me, I haven’t forgotten about you. Just because National Novel Writing Month is here doesn’t mean that I love you any less. I just love you different for a bit. It will all be over in a month, though, and then we can let the good times roll once again.

Let’s get a late Halloween post going on. It’s a poor substitute for me doing any real work, but here we are.

I struggled finding a costume this year, as I do every year. Inspiration struck early in October, though.

Twilight.

I would go as Edward Cullen. But tongue-in-cheek Edward Cullen. See, the vampires in Twilight can’t go out into the sun. It’s not because they’ll be incinerated in the light of day. It’s because they sparkle. Yes. Like glitter. Essentially their greatest problem is that they are perhaps TOO fabulous for everyone else to handle. This aggression would not stand, man. Something had to be done.

So, I set out to transform myself into Edward Cullen, Sparkle King of Chicago (I didn’t add the subtitle, but I really should have).

First, the end result:

edward

Let it be known that at the start, I was fully bedazzled, but that scrapbooking rhinestones don’t adhere well to the face. Please note how hard I’m already selling my vampiric angst:

glitter1

Let’s not forget to give the hair its due. I work hard on my hair. It’s hard to get a sense of scale, but I probably pulled an extra 6 to 8 inches of height from my hair.

hair1

Let’s also not forget that clearly my wife loves me, because she wakes up each morning to hair that is, very unintentionally, styled about the same until I take a shower. Stand back. You may not be able to handle this sexy:

hair2

Speaking of Janelle: Cute Ladybug costume + Fun Alien Cupcakes!

ladybug

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An Open Letter to San Diego Homebuyers

Dear San Diego Home Buyers,

Time’s are tough. I get it. Unemployment is high. The economy is on the rocks. The housing market, however, is pretty great for a buyer. I know it’s tough, but try not to be quite so eager. It’s kind of a turn-off.

Home prices are high in San Diego. They are staggeringly high compared to certain portions of the country. You could travel to, for example, Texas, and buy what would qualify as an estate in San Diego for about 1/3 the cost of the most basic home here.

The fact that home prices here have dipped along with the market around the rest of the country is not, however, an excuse for you to act a damn fool when you’re shopping for a home. Just because something is cheaper than it once was does not automatically mean that it is a good deal at its current price. The housing market being in the state it’s in does mean that you should be taking the time to research and bargain when homebuying.

What you should not do, for example, is bid for a home at a price that rounds out to be more than $330 per square foot when comparable sales in the area average out at about $275 per square foot. You don’t need to have taken much math at all to see that this delta means that you have just paid nearly $90,000 more for a 1,600 square foot home than market value would suggest. I know that we all want to see the housing market recover, but you don’t have to be the person to single-handedly kick it all off.

Do me a favor, consider that a home’s worth is not the same as its listing price. A home is a product not unlike any other object you’re going to buy. The fact that it costs as much as it does just means you should be that much more prepared for your purchase and informed as to its actual worth relative to others of its kind. Would you pay full list price for a car? (Hint: No.) You owe it to yourself to become educated just a bit about the market you’re shopping in.

So please, San Diego Home Buyers, let’s make an effort to help each other out. Let’s not inflate prices past where they are now. We can all find homes at cheap rates. We’re in San Diego, we need them this way.

Thanks,

Michael

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My Life in Shame – Episode 2 – The Middle School Years

In part 2 of this epic saga of my most regretted moments, I cover the start of The Awkward Years. This is the time when boys begin to dream of being older. They’re old enough and just mature enough to see what the big kids are like and what they’re up and to want to emulate it. This is to say they’re dangerous—little a-holes in the making. More often than not this emulation involves pretending to be cavalier and independent to a degree that is not felt internally in the least. You see kids in the throes of this stage all the time. Anytime you are out somewhere and you see pre-teen or early teenage kids running around, flailing arms, making noise and generally calling attention to themselves in a way that can really only be described as “unfortunate”, you are witnessing kids trying very hard to impress upon you that they, for the record, do not care in the slightest what you think of them. This is tricky because being able to effectively communicate this depends desperately on your paying attention to them.

Thusly, I am sufficiently introduced.

I was part of a pretty tight cadre of boys. We had all been at school for a good long time, some of us since first grade. We’d have sleepovers and were intensely into the gateway elements of “cult culture”. Not the rock band, not Scientology. Real Genius. Monty Python. Mel Brooks. Army of Darkness. We had our in-jokes and our one-liners that we’d throw around.

We also had a real sense of competition between us. If you’ve ever played a video game that only seems to have the high score list to measure success and thought to yourself “That’s it? That’s all the incentive to play is?” you have not hung around enough 13-year-old boys (note: seeking out 13-year-old boys to hang out with might lead to some awkward encounters). To ride atop a high score list, to be able to point to something very real and have it be known to all that you are the most awesome at killing people in Goldeneye with proximity mines is to be king. You’re all buddies and you’ll cheer your friend with all your heart when he’s riding on top of the world but the fire burns strong to knock his punk ass off the top of that heap so you can reap the glory you so richly deserve.

Most of the time when kids get into trouble it’s less because they had the idea to do something bad on their own and more that they wanted to prove that something that is an exceedingly poor idea could be accomplished, or they just wanted to prove that “Pffft. Yeah, I’ll do that.” The best way to not have to be the one stuck doing things is to be the one daring the others to do things.

The particular dare in question here took place at Magic Mountain up in Valencia before it added Gang Shankings to its list of featured attractions. We were leaving the park; I was probably only a few hundred yards from avoiding permanent embarrassment. Me and the other young Lotharios I was with had somehow gotten it into our heads that the truest test of our awesomeness on this day would be to approach some attractive young lady and ask her for a kiss. She would, of course, be overwhelmed at our boldness and readily apparent maturity, and consent.

This was a dare that had been tossed out and no one had picked it up. So, as we were leaving the park, it began to get shuffled about around the group like a hot potato. The longer it went before someone claimed it, the greater the subsequent glory would be. It clearly crossed an invisible threshold for me after a time, though, because I seized upon it. “Yeah, I’ll do it.” (Incidentally, this unknowable threshold to simply “man up” and do something unexpected is also the source of one of my proudest high school moments. How you doin’, Lauren Sherman?)

There was a girl walking with a friend and, in all likelihood, some other form of chaperon that I blissfully didn’t take any notice of in the slightest. I approached, excused myself as an means of introduction and began my spiel.

“Excuse me. Hi.”

At this point, both she and her friend look wary but interested. Potentially this will be something funny or interesting. They are not wrong from a perspective that is not my own.

“My friends over there have dared me to come over here and…”

If there was ever any moment that you may have thought that a young kid ever had the chance of really being smooth, just refer back to that clause. This seemed to be an acceptable thing to me. “Those guys over there told me to do this.” Really, anything else that popped out of my mouth after that is going to be a sort of insult. I don’t care if I wrote a sonnet on the spot. I didn’t do it because I wanted to do it. I did it because those guys over there told me I could not do it. Is there a better aphrodisiac than spite?

“… tell you that you are very pretty…”

It’s at this point that her face brightens up and she blushes a bit. Her friend even grins because she’s happy for her. It’s a compliment! They’ve missed the insulting introduction about the compliment being the result of a pressured dare! She’s pleased! I am GOLDEN.

“… and ask you for a kiss.”

Her faces crashes into a look of revulsion that burns itself indelibly into my mind (see Exhibit A: This Post). I shrug and turn around immediately—cavalier—and return to my friends. I am, quite clearly, the man. They are laughing and clapping me on the back and talking about how they can’t believe I did it. I am as much a celebrity as I am likely ever to be at that moment.

I am also totally horrified. The notion that I could do something that would cause someone to make that face remains absolutely haunting to me.

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My Life in Shame – Episode 1 – The Grade School Years

I don’t have too many secrets. It’s just not really my nature. My wife would be generous and say it’s because I like to talk and I tell a pretty good story. I would say it’s because I really don’t have anything too exciting to keep hidden away. Quite the promo for the rest of this post, eh?

What I do have is a small handful of incidents that are the items that I revisit most in my head. This is not to say they’re the only items I ever think about, because I’m not that much of a commercial for things that are depressing. They stand out because they are the things I regret the most. They hover around in my mind and flutter to the surface from time to time, largely unbidden, and make me embarrassed even when I’m alone. We can call this post an exorcism attempt.

There are two incidents from my elementary school days that come to mind.

The first is, fittingly, from first grade. I don’t remember much about what happened, except that it was the end of a school day. I don’t seem to recall being particularly rowdy (I was a pretty well-behaved student) but right as the day was closing, almost literally as everyone was walking to the classroom door to go outside and meet their parents, I was joking around with a kid who was a bit of a troublemaker, the class clown.

As we packed up to leave, he must have said something wacky or done something goofy, because I responded by picking up the jacket I’d brought with me and draping it across my shoulders and pulling the arms across my neck like they were choking me. I let my tongue loll out to complete the effect. I was very clever.

The next thing I know I was being told by the teacher that she had had enough and that I and my supposed partner in crime needed to stay after class. I don’t recall how long we had to stay (I’m guessing only 10-15 minutes), but it was long enough that my Mom wanted to know why I had taken so long. Even as a first grader I knew that this was something to cover up. Children, it would seem, become acquainted with the notion that trouble is to be avoided at all costs pretty early on. I seriously doubt that I managed to be convincing, but I didn’t crack and just maintained that things in class had taken a longer time than normal.

I’m not sure if this incident would be a good reason why I’m so averse to drawing attention to myself in situations where I shouldn’t logically be the center of attention, but it’s the only one I can think of: the time I got in trouble in first grade for being goofy when I didn’t think I deserved it. How’s that for continuity from last week’s Monday post?

The second item is from third grade. All the students were lined up to go back into class at the end of lunchtime. As I walked past two of my friends Friend #1 pretended as if he was choking Friend #2. Young boys, as these two examples are clearly illustrating, are very clever. High-class shenanigans all around.

Seeing this, I wanted in on the fake violence. So I approached Friend #1 and in slow motion did a pretend knee to the side of his leg. My recollection of the event is clearly colored by own desire to not be culpable, as I pretty clearly recall barely making any contact at all with the side of Friend #1’s thigh. My memory is not of making any contact, but clearly I must have been mistaken entirely about that.

As soon as my knee made contact with Friend #1’s leg, he went down in a pretty spectacular display of tears and wailing. Thinking that I had just been joining in on the fun and not even having the intent of making real contact with him physically, the situation became pretty alarming pretty quickly.

I was also not in a situation where this could be covered up and dealt with nicely and neatly. ALL of my classmates were within about a thirty foot radius of this and now not only was I the center of attention, but I was also that kid that made that other kid cry.

What followed was a visit to the principal’s office and what seems to be in my memory about 30 minutes of great weeping and gnashing of teeth. From me. I don’t even think the injured party was present. I proceeded to explain—thinking that my simple explanation of “Seriously, I had no intention of even actually touching him, and must have done so entirely by accident” wouldn’t fly—that it looked to me like Friend #2 was getting beat up on. So I was going to come over and try and make sure that wasn’t happening. I’m not sure how I worked in my Van Damme-age knee to the action, but I must have.

The principal at the time, a Mr. Singer, was pretty bemused. I can recall this now. I was a good kid and I never got in trouble outside of these two instances, as far as I can recall. I was even friends with his son, who was a student in our grade. I think he knew I wasn’t out to enact vigilante justice on the schoolyard. In the midst of my weeping and begging that my parents not be contacted (which I’m pretty sure didn’t happen — which means I’m blowing a perfectly good 20-year-old cover), he very calmly and probably with a smirk on his face that I couldn’t see through the tears, told me that I didn’t really need to go around policing the school. And that was that. I sheepishly returned to class to sit near a still-sniffling Friend #1 and probably didn’t think about it again in my grade school years after that day.

And here I am now, a couple decades later, and it’s still something I think about and deliver a nice, firm facepalm over.

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The Pressure’s On

I went to the doctor’s office about two week ago. It was a totally standard visit in every way. I have a patch of dry skin just near my left ear and I find myself scratching at it quite a bit. Not a problem, but annoying, and something I wanted to get some sort of cream for before dry winter weather hits and exacerbates the issue. That, or I wanted a referral to a dermatologist. All in all, about as run of the mill as a visit to the doctor’s office can be.

After waiting an hour, I’m finally greeted by the doctor and he asks me a couple questions, takes about a 5 second look at my scalp, agrees with me that it looks like it needs something, writes me a prescription and then takes my blood pressure as a matter of course. And it comes out high. Not danger, danger Will Robinson high, but to the high side of normal. Even though we’re both pretty sure it’s a case of nerves in the doctor’s office, he asks me to consider getting a blood pressure device to monitor things for a few weeks just to be sure. So, I get myself a nifty little electronic blood pressure monitor and, what a surprise, each time I test I’m almost textbook optimal.

So what gives with the high readings at the doctor’s office? I’m not a nervous person in general. I hate shots and anything that might lead me to shots, but I wasn’t going in for anything that would possibly merit a needle. I pondered for a moment then why it might be that I would be stressed at the doctor’s office, and I realized that it’s because I was concerned about approval.

I think I’m always concerned about approval. I can’t help it.

At the doctor’s office, I want them to tell me all my readings are solid. I don’t want to hear that so I can be told I’m in good health (I’m already pretty sure I’m at least not anywhere close to bad health), I want them to think that I’m the kind of person that takes care of himself. This is also why it sticks in my head that the first time I went to this office and the nurse weighed me she proclaimed “Oh, you hide your weight well.” *shakes fist at nurse*

I wanted to have a larger post here, with a discussion of what I think this means for me and how it comes up in my day to day life. But after I wrote it all up, it read back as just so much apologetics, which seemed pretty ironic considering the content of the post. So, suffice it to say this is a silly quirk of mine and I’m pretty sure its here to stay.

And now to begin preliminary work on my http://www.nanowrimo.org/ project for next month, which there will be a post about soon enough.

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The Non Post

There’s actually no post for today. This might qualify, but I’m not counting it. I fell ill yesterday afternoon and was simply not able to concentrate on revising and polishing up the post I had started. And sleeping last night was one of the more bizarre experiences of my life.

It was as if my brain had forgotten the specific methods used to fall asleep. I became stuck on a loop where I believed, in my half asleep state, that I had to “delete files” from my brain to quiet it down enough for me to fall asleep. Needless to say, this didn’t prove effective. Eventually I gave up trying to sleep and played a little puzzle computer game for an hour or so, and then when I went back to bed my mind had decided that the proper way to clear one’s head to go to sleep was to shift ideas around like tiles in a game, and by shifting things from the bottom (bottom of…?) that other thoughts would fall to the bottom and be cleared off the board and then I could sleep.

Suffice to say, I think my body was focused enough on trying to fight off whatever food poisoning or infection I have that my brain tripped out a little bit in the process.

And with that, it’s time to curl up in bed, drink ridiculous amounts of fluid and be pleased NetFlix allows me to stream movies to my laptop.

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