Friday, February 27, 2015

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Sleep’s a funny thing Isn’t it? Come on, sleep is weird! And dreams? I’d say, don’t get me started, but please, get me started on that another time (ask me about the Oreo Cookie).Today though, dreams not my focus for this post. 

But this thing called sleep, it sometimes comes upon us at inopportune times, like in the middle of a late afternoon meeting. Other times, when we hit the rack with a stretch of hours ahead of us to rest and repair, sleep eludes us like a greased pig. Damn!

It’s the insomnia part that I struggled with at our family’s summer vacation spot, a park model trailer at Cape Cod. There were several reasons I couldn’t get to sleep, too warm, too crowded on the snugly fit-inside-the-camper-bedroom, inadequate mattress, and uncooperative pillows. 

Now maybe in my advancing (ha!) age, I’m getting picky about my pillow. I don’t like a pillow that’s TOO firm, I can’t abide one that’s too flat, and I have no patience for a bouncy pillow. Finally, we were at a Sears store that summer, and I picked up this little number. 
Sears Memory Foam Pillow

I love my awkwardly shaped memory foam pillow, it’s really helped with sleep (that and my mouth guard for that pesky sleep apnea). But I’m also amused by it. When the colder months hit (and by now we were back home, with the pillow), I noticed that when I first got into bed at night, that my head literally hit the pillow. That is, it kind of bounced off. Now this isn’t the same reaction as the bouncy pillow. This was…well really the best analogy that fits is that my pillow felt exactly like a sturdy corrugated cardboard box. Yup. Truly. 

This is what happens to memory foam when it gets cold. It gets very stiff and unyielding. 

Luckily, memory foam also warms with your body heat, and does what it’s supposed to do, support you with love. Does a cardboard box do that?  Well, maybe if it’s one of those re-purposed large appliance crates – that you can turn into a spaceship or diving bell or a depressing night court complete with drunks and prostitutes – yeah, those “support” you I suppose With love? Maybe. 

Sweet dreams

Monday, February 16, 2015

Balancing Act

 I constantly struggle with knowing whether I’m doing the right thing. A few years back sometimes that struggle was about parenting – actually many of the struggles were about parenting I should say. And sometimes, then – and now – I wonder if I’m making the right moves in marriage. Compromise more? Stand up for something because of principle? Who knows?

Currently, both these struggles merge together like tangled dirty ribbons, forming a skein of tenuous responsibility mixed with obligation that wraps too tightly around my creative soul. I know, that makes me sound like a whiney whiner. A selfish whiney whiner. But shit, as any of the current experts will tell you, it’s a crime to extinguish that dingy glow that comes from the left brain. Even the book of Mathew reminds us: “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”

Thus, I get all mixed up and verklempt-ish when I try to organize my writing career again and again. I feel like I’m letting everyone down by not writing (writing what, I’ll get to shortly), and letting down everyone else – if I don’t. And of course, letting myself down no matter what the heck I end up doing. There’s no pleasing me!

This whole finding the balance is exhausting. Yet, there can be a balance, compromise, give-and-take
So, what is it I’m supposed to be writing, or not writing? Well, the writing that I love best is the introspective, naval-gazing stuff I’m doing here. Or a version of a soap box Op/Ed piece that will set the world on fire and fix it at the same time. I also love the humorous slice-of-life stuff, riffing off some funny (at least in my head) event or dream fragment or even a text message gone awry. But that stuff’s not going to make much money, unless I was already well known and folks were clamoring for my thoughts on This and That.

Next up is my “Entertainment Writing.” That’s the category I trot out when people ask me what I write. Hey, why not, it’s fun and I’m good at it. But again, not much money in that.

And there’s of course, my WIP – Driving – that’s been fun, and hard work, and it could earn money – but – well I’ve attached too much artificial angst to this project for it to be viable in its current state. Oy.

Most recently however, is business writing, marking consulting, site audits and so on. THIS – is the scariest. While I can write, and I know I can write content, and I know I can come up with some kickass ideas to help a business grow – it’s still a matter of owning the knowledge, being as confident in this as in other areas.

To add to the mix, I very much am enjoying photography again, and would like to devote more time to that. 

A few years ago I got this tattoo to remind me of always finding balance. Then it was a little more in the realm of martial arts, now it is in other areas of my life. It is a struggle for me. So not much is resolved in this bit of writing, but writing IS being done, and that is a blessing.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Fun with Words

Autocorrect can be hysterical. This isn’t news. What’s also fun, in a similar vein, is Voice-to-Text. Now Siri, or whatever helpful app your OS manifests as, can take matters into her own digital mitts.

 I've got some swell examples. One time I was with Sue, and we were hoping to get our mutual cousins to come out with us on a Friday night. I was texting cousin Brenda, to try and arrange things with her and her sister Di:

“Hi Brenda did Sue text you you want to get together tonight maybe die 2?”

But seriously, our plans were much low-key than, like, dying, I mean, come on, that’s morbid. Die? Die, what, Die Hard? Die Hard with a Vengeance? No, that’s #3, not 2. Oy!

Months later, we are together again, I’m texting, that is I’m dictating my text into my phone to my husband, I’m about to leave the cousins’ house, and am planning on driving Sue home. That’s SUE, with like and “S”. No “W”s, no “F”s. I don’t get it. But there you go:

“Leaving soon probably will be driving waffles home on the way.”

At least there was no mention of a violent end. Just breakfast. That I can take. 

And just this week, I’m answering a text from Robin. I’ve been helping her with some office work, a new software product to help schedule appointments and classes and other cool stuff. But we’ve been texting a lot. At this moment, I was getting ready to leave Children’s Hospital satellite in Lexington. Tom needed blood work, a little too fancy for our local hospital. 
Robin wondered if I was going to be working (in person) with her that day, so I was explaining, typing the text this time, but without benefit of ocular support. (I wasn’t wearing my glasses).

“I don't think so, but maybe smotheringday?”

“Smothering”? I mean, sure we had been texting a lot, but I wasn’t feeling smothered exactly. Maybe just a little blind.

And another convo with Robin the same day I think? This time in email. I had plans the following day, for a very small specific window of time with Judy. Judy of the “It’s been so Long, I Forgot What she Looked Like” realm. So, I could not work with Robin on this day either. So, like I said, I was emailing. But I was emailing with my phone, using good old Voice-to-Text:

“Alright, that will work. right now as far as I know I should be in class tomorrow, but I have to leave right after because I have an appointment with a cup and drink it,”

What I actually said was, I have an appointment up in Dracut. Don’t know why I said “appointment”, I should have maybe said “meeting” but I was Voice-to-Texting on the fly. Ironically, Judy and I had talked about having coffee together. So, I guess I did have an appointment with a ‘cup’, a big cup of crazy Voice-to-Broth Alphabet Soup!