Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 5, and These Numbered Day Titles are Annoying

I’m getting wordier. Lordy. And I use lots of parentheses, colons, semicolons, and em-dashes. I realize this.

This has not been my best day; I’ll say that right off. I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I was up ‘til 11:30 writing, neither pills nor alcohol helping to push me to bed. (Don’t mix pills and alcohol. I’m not recommending that. I’m heartily against it, and so is your body. But….) I went to bed around 11:45 and lay there, trying to drift. I started getting close around 12:30am. My son woke up, and I rudely forced my wife to get up to help him back to sleep. In those moments, when you’re so tired and trying so hard and you’re so close to sleep, all you want is to drift off. And I have an understanding wife, and she got up to help Liam, and at some point I finally fell asleep. My wife is the best.  

I woke up when her cell phone alarm went off: vibrating on silent mode. We don’t have a clock in our bedroom, and I never set an alarm. It works out. But I laid there in bed and tried to stay asleep. I tried so hard. I forced that Bruno Mars “Lazy Song” into my head. During exercise, it makes me feel lethargic. In the mornings, oddly and unfortunately, it makes me want to jump up and convulse in my typically arrhythmic dancing. I pulled my pillow over my head. I hated the fact that I’d dreamt once again, and remembered it. I wished myself to sleep. I listened to the household moving around. I got out of bed. There was no choice. Things didn’t improve from there, really.

I greeted my family, of course, but I was in a fog—zombified (not a word). I slugged down a Naked Juice Blue Machine. I hung my head as I walked out to the garden to water that damn corn, and damn everything else in the garden and its’ needs: that’s how I felt. I showered. My wife left for work. I realized she had the keys to the truck, which I needed to drive to work. I called and kept getting voicemail. I started working since I couldn’t get a hold of her. I always have work with me. It’s a sad sign of the times.

You see, I’m not lazy; I’m productive. That’s largely the point of this blog, if you haven’t picked up on it, which would be weird since I pretty much point it out continuously. Sitting idle is something I’m not sure I’m wired to do. Or if I ever was, I rewired and have a hard time going back.

I finally got in touch with Angie after she got to the office, and the phone call didn’t exactly make her morning, either. She drove back home to give me the keys I needed. I got more work done. When I became automotively (also not a word) mobile, I drove to my favorite coffee shop, and they f’d up my order.

They know me there. I was surprised this morning that even someone I’ve never interacted with knew me by name. “Stan, right?” It made me smile, but it was the smile of a zombie. It was probably scary. Normally I’d get a lemon poppy seed muffin, but they were out, so I ordered an “Everything Bagel,” toasted, with butter, and a large mocha. I drink mochas or my French-pressed black coffee. Those are the only two options in my world, as far as coffee is concerned. I got my mocha and my bagged bagel, got in the truck to drive to work, and realized they gave me cream cheese instead of butter. “DAMN IT! AGAIN?!?” That happened last time I ordered a bagel toasted with butter. I hate cream cheese. Or, I don’t eat it. I can’t claim I’ve had much of it. I’m not sure I’ve just tasted it straight-up. It grosses me out, as many creamy things do, so I shy away from it. I ate my bagel plain. It was still good, but butter would have made me happier.

I was in a foul mood, but I can usually hide that pretty well at the office. I’d neglected to pack myself a banana or an apple. I was out of almonds. I wasn’t hungry anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal. I was just tired. I worked. At one point I rolled out the exercise ball, put my feet up on it, did 10 pushups with my feet on the ball, paused in a 45-second plank, then did 5 more pushups. I worked more.

It got close to noon and I got hungry but I had no fruit or almonds. I did have oatmeal and potato chips that I’ve had there for 2 weeks. The potato chips were surprisingly not stale, so I crammed some of those in my mouth and left the oatmeal—a good healthy choice. Ahem. I was still hungry, so I pounded two pints of water. Angie and I did the vehicle switch, and I left to pick up my son about 20 minutes past noon.

He was asleep when I got there. Not ideal, but par for the day. He woke up on the way out. That was the last he’d sleep until 10 minutes ago. As usual for my blogging, it’s about 9:30. I’m drinking wine. My glass is smaller than some of our others, but it’s glass number…3? I dunno. I finished off the malbec from the other day at dinner and just poured a glass of Montevina zin. Cheap and good. I’m jumping ahead.

Turn on flux capacitor, get the DeLorean to 88.8 miles per hour (serious shit), and let’s get back to the past. Wait, that’s not right. Whatever.  

So it was an afternoon of balancing sleep deprivation, my son who should have been sleeping (he’d only napped about 20 minutes), and lots and lots of work. I get my work done. I like my job. I do it well. I work too much. I try to balance.

I made myself another grilled cheese, this time with the addition of some Sierra Nevada Stout and Stoneground Mustard (it’s mustard, not beer) and some parmesian cheese. Real butter, double fiber bread. Pretzels. (Newman’s Own Pretzels have lots of fiber, but I don’t always eat those, honest. See earlier reference to my bag of potato chips at the office.) I drank water. I shared with Liam. He just wanted the pretzels. We also split a banana. I worked. I did a bit of yoga, spread out over a few hours: three sets of sun salutes; warrior I, II, and III; crescent moon; I dunno. These are the terms I know the moves by, but they may be wrong. There were a couple others. It wasn’t extensive. I was just trying to keep my mind and body going, and any small bit of yoga is better than what I’ve been doing lately (i.e., no yoga). Move blood. Try to get some kind of positivity into my head.

My frustration built as the day went on, but not for any good reason. It’s just this sleep thing. It isn’t always this bad. I know of one reason it’s worse right now, but the ever-present underliers elude me.

My wife got home around 5:30. I didn’t really feel like exercising at all, but it’s my swim day and that’s the one day I hate to skip because it’s the exercise I hate the most. (Weird?) It’s my weakest. So I don’t let myself skip it. Often. (I skipped last Wednesday.) And the Wednesday thing sounds like regiment. Okay. But the truth: Mondays I can’t swim, because of the long day at the office. Tuesdays and Thursdays my gym has water aerobics, and that really limits lane availability and frustrates me greatly. Fridays are a wildcard, and usually my weekends are filled with other things. But I force myself to swim once per week. I think it’s important, possibly because I don’t like it.

~~A qualification: it’s not that I don’t like swimming. It’s a fine sport, and good exercise. But I find it difficult. It’s all form. It’s the hardest thing for me to do of the things I opt to do, physically, but it burns the fewest Calories. (It’s true.) That sucks. But swimming has lots of value (like the upper body workout), and although I may dread getting started, or be indifferent to it at best, I always feel great afterward.~~

I ended up in a lane next to a swimmer. Or, a better swimmer than me. Somehow, near the end of my workout (a total of 64 laps [or 32, depending on your definition of a lap, it seems, so a bit beyond 3/4 of a mile] and somewhere around 35 minutes) we ended up talking. “Swimming is my worst event; I have to make things up on the bike and run,” he said. Of course, he’s a triathlete. I asked about the distances he does. He’d just finished his first half iron man, and decided based on that he prefers sprints. The one I did was somewhere between a sprint and Olympic, leaning toward Olympic. I don’t guess our conversation is all that important, although he told me I should do the Golden State Tri in October, which I think about every year. I could probably do a sprint tri tomorrow if I wanted to—sorry if that’s annoying. And the Golden State Tri is a sprint. But I haven’t done it yet. He made me feel, once again, like I should. I fear typing it here, because I’ll feel even more like I should. And what kind of un-regimented example would I be setting then? Oh yeah, that’s right: I’m not too regimented now and I could probably still go ahead and do it. Maybe I will. Damn it.

Damn it.

I finished my swim and soaked in the hot tub for a bit. It’s almost ritualistic for me: swim, hot tub, steam room, sauna, shower, home. I don’t know why. I’d forgotten to take water with me. That’s not good. I drank from the fountain. That’s fine. I got home and my wife had dinner pretty much ready: salads (greens, green onion, Italian dressing, parm, and croutons for me was all, ‘cause I don’t like raw tomatoes or cucumber) and lasagna, which she’d made with ground beef and zucchini from the garden (the zucchini, not the beef). It was darn good. I drank my wine.

The day was passing too quickly. I fed our dogs. I went out with them to check the garden and it was really getting a bit too dark to do much checking. I picked close to 30 tomatoes, mostly Romas but a few volunteer Early Girls, and a couple of strawberries. I came back inside in time to help brush Liam’s teeth (he hates it), watch him run his last tired laps around the kitchen and living room, and kiss him goodnight. I love that boy so much, even when my patience is so limited by this sleep thing. I love my family so much. Immediate and extended. Okay…whatever, it’s true. They’re fantastic. I have a wonderful family.

I think I put the finishing touches on my Baseline blog. I’m not sure it’s conveying what I want it to convey the way I want to convey it, but I reckon you’ll be able to see it soon, if not now, and I welcome comments. I always welcome comments. Questions. Exclamations of “Liar!” and “Bullshit!” and “You are SO wrong because…” and “You’ve totally neglected to consider….” I want to learn. I want to be corrected. I write things like I know something. I don’t know anything. Or much of anything—I know I need to get some sleep.

I’ll finish this glass of wine. I did get a bit of recreational reading in today, still working through that Hiaasen novel. He’s such a fun read.

So good night, basil-plant-I’ve-singled-out-in-my-mind: I know you need water, and I’ll try to get to that in the morning. Don’t look so down; I’ll help you. Hold tight. And again, good night.     

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