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Anyone else notice a trend in my tweets?

Apparently, there’s a whole lot of sucking going on….

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Really, I Have No Idea Why I’m Not Sleeping Well

This is clearly the post of a sleep-deprived person.

I haven’t really slept well lately. I don’t think I’m under an usual amount of stress and there’s nothing life or death about the things I think about. I just can’t shut my head off and get some rest.

Here’s a rundown of my night.

10:00 p.m. Totally exhausted so I climb into bed and sink into my comfy mattress. I prop my pillows up behind my head and watch TV for a few minutes until my eyelids feel so heavy I can’t hold them open.

10:15 p.m. Turn off the TV, turn off the lights, settle into bed and close my eyes.

10:17 p.m. Doze off.

10:20 p.m. Wide awake. Make a mental reminder to grab my iPod in the morning so I can take it to work.

10:21 p.m. Speaking of work, did I remember to send that e-mail before I left? Think about what I need to do when I first get into the office.

10:35 p.m. Think about how much traffic there’s been in the morning and wonder if I should get up a little earlier.

10:36 p.m. Get cranky about having to wake up earlier and vow to just get ready faster in the morning.

11:00 p.m. Remind myself to grab that book before I leave for work because I need to use it as reference for something I’m working on.

11:05 p.m. Realize I will never remember to grab it in the morning, get up, find it and put it by my keys.

11:20 p.m. Let the dog out.

12:00 a.m. Let the dog in.

12:10 a.m. Remember to pay the power bill tomorrow (which is now today).

12:30 a.m. Roll over and pull a pillow over my head to block out Bill’s snoring.

12:50 a.m. Take pillow off my head because it’s hot.

1:00 a.m. Get irritated because I’m still awake and can’t go to sleep.

1:01 a.m. Wonder if it’s too late to take a Tylenol PM. Maybe just one? Probably not a good idea.

1:02 a.m. Will myself to sleep, but the more I do that, the more awake I become. Maybe I should take up meditation? Or yoga?

1:04 a.m. Wonder when I would ever find the time to do yoga since I barely use my gym membership.

1:05 a.m. When did I go to the gym last?

1:15 a.m. Wonder when I’m going to find time to go to Target this week.

1:16 a.m. Mentally make list of stuff I need to get at Target: toilet paper, paper towels, hardwood floor cleaner, soap…

1:17 a.m. Contemplate getting out of bed to write up my target list. And maybe a grocery list.

1:19 a.m. Wonder if I have enough toilet paper to last through the weekend if I can’t get to Target during the week. Maybe I can go Thursday night?

1:21 a.m. Nope. Not Thursday. I have to take Gracie to agility that night.

1:22 a.m. Wonder why the special leash and collar I ordered for Gracie to wear for agility hasn’t shown up yet. Wonder when I ordered it. Hmmm, should be here by now. They usually send orders pretty quickly.

1:30 a.m. Wonder if it’s too late to take shot of NyQuil to knock me out.

1:40 a.m. Let the dog out.

2:00 a.m. Let the dog in.

2:15 a.m. Maybe a half shot of NyQuil?

2:20 a.m. Frustrated because I can’t sleep. Think about everything I have to do this weekend. Things that don’t involve sleeping in. Or even being home much.

2:30 a.m. Hope I get off work on time Thursday night because I have to drive home, pick up Gracie and drive her 40 minutes away to agility.

2:35 a.m. Plan what I need to take to agility. Make backup plan in case new leash doesn’t show up.

2:40 a.m. Doze off.

3:30 a.m. Hear Bill wake up and go into the other room because he can’t sleep.

3:31 a.m. Wonder if my not sleeping is keeping Bill from sleeping.

3:35 a.m. Listen to the coffee pot grind the coffee and wonder why that damn machine makes so much fucking noise.

3:36 a.m. But damn, it makes some good coffee.

3:48 a.m. Do I have enough dog shampoo to bathe Gracie on Friday night? She has a show on Saturday and I have to groom her.

3:49 a.m. Do I have all of her dog show stuff together? Do I need to wash her bowls? Where is her lead?

4:45 a.m. Let the dog out.

6:40 a.m. Let the dog in.

6:50 a.m. Alarm goes off.

7:10 a.m. Get out of bed, totally trashed from not sleeping.

8:25 a.m. Leave the house late. Again. Too tired to get ready on time.

Is it just me or is anyone else—other than Bill—stressed to the max over nothing at all?

Rage Against the Machines

The gym is a sacred place to me. Yeah, working out is good for me yada, yada, yada. But the real reason I work out is to have an hour to myself to work off the stress of my day and my get my aggression out.

I used to be hardcore about it—I’d work out about 4 to 5 nights a week. I even had a personal trainer a couple of nights a week. It made me feel happy and healthy. I’d walk into the gym, keep my head down, mind my own business, wear my iPod, shove my headphones into my ears, blast Motley Crue, Metallica and Jay-Z, and really move some heavy metal. It was better than therapy.

So there is nothing that pisses me off more than people who walk up to me and try to hold a conversation when I’m clearly trying to tune out the world. A couple of years ago I forgot my headphones and it was like working out without a my invisibility shield. The second I walked in, this dude made a beeline for me from the other side of the gym to chat me up. His opening line was “You usually have your headphones in, so I never get to talk to you.” I tried to sort of brush him off politely, but he didn’t get the hint, so after about 10 minutes of this, I told him that the reason I wore my headphones was so guys like him wouldn’t approach me in the gym. Rude? Probably, but if I wanted to get hit on, I would’ve gone to a bar. (Which I also told him.)

Flash-forward to tonight. I was on the elliptical machine when all of a sudden my former trainer walked over and started chatting me up. Rather, he was doing the hard sell. I had to pull my headphones out, turn my body sideways on the elliptical and turn to listen to him. At one point I stumbled because of my contortions, and he didn’t miss a beat. I kept the volume loud on my headphones so he could tell I wanted to get back to my workout but he was totally Chatty Kathy, telling me about all the special deals he has going right now and that he already talked to Bill who said we’d sign up. I told him I needed to talk to Bill and that I’d get back to him. But he just kept at it.

After a few minutes, I got kind of pissed. I was trying to be polite because I’ve known him for years. But he of all people knows better. We used to talk about how annoying it was when people would interrupt your workout but there he was just talking, talking, talking, totally interrupting my workout. He finally walked away for a minute to talk to someone else, and I moved to another piece of equipment. Next thing I know, he was right there again, talking loudly to be heard over the headphones that I had shoved back in my head.

The really obnoxious part of the whole conversation was when he said I needed to sign up with him so I could start getting in some good workouts.

Really? I thought I was doing okay until he walked up.

I got so irritated that I ended up cutting my workout short and leaving.

So now I’m cranky—and clearly haven’t worked out all of my aggressions.

Is This Thing On? (A long post about why I haven’t posted…and how my mother drove me nuts)

Not only have I not written here for about 10 days, I haven’t even looked at this blog. Is anyone still around? *crickets*

It’s been a brutal week. A week full of extreme ups and downs, family taking over my house, a business trip and insanely long hours at work. For the first time in a week, I’m starting to feel a little human. But just a little.

My parents spent Father’s Day weekend at my house. They’re older (my dad is 80, my mom is 76) so although they still travel quite a bit, there are no quick up-and-backs for them. They live two hours away, but it’s too much for them to drive up, hang for the afternoon and then leave at night. So for a Sunday afternoon barbecue, they arrived at about 4:00 Saturday afternoon. And as much as I love them, they’re not easy house guests by any stretch of the imagination. My mom just can’t sit still and relax. She’s not happy unless she’s into everything. Like a toddler.

I’d been under a lot of pressure the week before because I was getting ready for a business trip to Atlanta the day after Father’s Day. It was brutal. The stress was overwhelming. I was at the vortex of a shit storm day after day. It didn’t matter what I did, what I didn’t do, what I said or didn’t say, I just got hammered left and right. It was the kind of week that had me fantasizing about running away to a Caribbean island and becoming a bartender. So Saturday night when I started to come down from all the stress I just felt broken, old and beat up. I went to bed early, and Sunday morning after we went out to breakfast, I just wanted to nap for an hour before I had to start getting everything ready for our Father’s Day BBQ.

I went into my bedroom and closed the door and the second I started to doze off, there was a tap, tap, tap on the door. Without waiting for a reply (Hello! Welcome to my childhood!), my mom opened the door, saw me laying on the bed, immediately got all panic-y—What’s wrong? You aren’t feeling well? Do you need a Tums? Do you have a thermometer? She even felt my forehead to see if I had a fever. I told her I was tired and feeling achy and just wanted to nap for a bit. She agreed that was a good idea, but instead of letting me do that, she started looking around my room at all the clean laundry that was folded but not yet put away and started to make herself busy.

When I told her to Stop. Touching. My. Laundry. (nicely), that I just needed to be left alone for a while, she got all hurt and cranky. She left the room only to return 10 minutes later to ask if I had packed for my trip yet. When I told her No, as a matter of fact, I hadn’t started because she was running me ragged, she, of course, offered to pack me.

“Nah, I’ll do it later.” (nicely)

“But you have to cook for everyone later. Do it now.” (Um, hello? Who’s house is this?)

“I don’t want to do it now. I want to nap because I DON’T FEEL WELL.” (Teeth clenched. Trying not to get angry here, but ohmyholygod.)

“Well, I can’t believe you haven’t packed yet.” (Translation: What the hell have you done all weekend? Lazy!)

Sigh. It was an overnight trip, I already had my suit dry cleaned (ever time I put on a suit I am so grateful I can wear jeans to work most days) and I just needed to throw together a few things. Apparently, I’m still 4 and not almost 40 and able to manage my time.

I never did get my nap. She kept coming in and bugging me, totally thinking she was helping when the only thing she accomplished was pissing me off. If I called her on it, she just pouted. (My mother is the queen of guilt.)

I got up and just started cleaning up and cooking.

By 9:00 that night our guests showed no sign of leaving so, wonderful hostess that I am, I got up, excused myself and went to pack before my mom (or I) had an aneurism and went to bed.

Monday morning I went in to work for about an hour, and then drove myself, my boss and another co-worker to the airport for our Atlanta trip. I knew this was going to be a fast turnaround, but I had no idea how much it was going to kick my ass.

First of all, traveling with people for the first time? Sucks balls. Everyone has their own style of traveling. Mine is the Be The First On the Plane style. My boss’? It’s more along the lines of Let’s Mosey And See How Late We Can Be. We finally pile into the car, and 15 minutes into the drive he announces that he left his suit jacket in his car. Back at the office. So I had to turn around and drive back to work. We were flying out of LAX so we had to navigate the 405 freeway, the busiest freeway in the country. Piece of cake, right? Not. By the time we got back on the road, parked, shuttled to the airport, checked our bags in, and walked 60 miles to the gate, we were so late that the flight attendant sniped that she was about to give away our seats.

By the time we got on the plane, the three of us were snarking at each other. It was so bad, we had to call a truce.

We finally settled in, and realized we were surrounded by about a dozen horrible little brats. One kid was so heinous that he’d smack his mom when he didn’t get his way and she didn’t say a word. At one point the little darling grabbed my smoking hot coffee off my tray and swatted it on the floor, splashing the guy across the aisle. His mother did nothing. I almost grabbed him and flushed him down the toilet and out into the blue sky. And I don’t think his mother would have cared. She probably would have thrown a parade in my honor.

We finally landed in Atlanta at about 8:00 p.m. or so, checked in to the hotel, and met for dinner at 9:30. We finally got back to our rooms a couple of hours later and even though I was exhausted, it was only 8:30 at home. And I was so paranoid about waking up the next morning that I probably only got 2 hours of sleep. When my alarm went off at 7:30 it definitely felt like 4:30 a.m. I was broken. I drank gallons of coffee (sadly, it wasn’t Starbucks. I didn’t find one until I was thoroughly saturated with caffeine) to try to get enough energy to go down for breakfast.

Our first meeting was at CNN.

CNNjpg

And it was as intimidating as it was impressive. When we were waiting for our meeting to begin, the Reverend Al Sharpton walked by, and we could see into the various news studios as they pumped out hour after hour of news. I was hoping to run into Anderson Cooper, but no such luck. Maybe another time.

CNNHummer

This was a news Hummer that CNN used for embedded reporters at the start of the second Gulf War. It's pretty bad ass.

Our next two meetings were across town, and by the time we were done at 4:00, we were all just dead.

By the time we arrived back in Los Angeles at 9:00 that night, we had been up, meeting and traveling for about 20 hours.

I was never so grateful to be sleeping in my own bed as I was that night. I was hoping to sleep in a little and take my time getting in the next morning, but because we had been out for two day, we were slammed. Three days in a row I was so busy I barely had time to run up the hall to the restroom.

Now? I’m (mostly) rested. And I have a short week ahead of me.

So back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I’m Exhausted

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

This is what was going on in my head last night when I was laying in bed, desperately trying to sleep. With no luck.

I was trying to tell my head to shut up, to stop thinking, to stop buzzing and just rest.

I wasn’t thinking of anything in particular—I’m not stressed, there’s nothing major going on that would keep me up at night—I was just obsessed with the fact that I needed to sleep and couldn’t. There was a whole dialogue in my head about not sleeping. At one point I started to compose a blog post about it in my head. Then I thought, Maybe I’ll get up and write it now. But that would be dumb because then I really wouldn’t be sleeping. That’ll just get me wired. I’d rather be sleeping instead of writing a blog post about not sleeping. (Yes, my head is a strange place sometimes.)

For the past two nights I haven’t slept at all. The most I’ve been able to do is drift off into that weird state of not being asleep but not fully awake either. And I can’t function when I don’t get a full night’s sleep every night. I get cranky (okay, crankier), I get (more) irritable and a little punchy. That filter from my brain to my mouth seems to disappear when I haven’t slept and I say whatever I’m thinking whether I should or not. And I get clumsy—tripping over my own feet and bumping into walls and doors.

It might be all the hot wind we’ve been getting that’s keeping me up at night. It does make me a little crazy I think, but even when I closed the window and turned on the air conditioning (it’s like 80 degrees in the middle of the night) I couldn’t sleep. Last night I took a Tylenol PM at 9:30 and figured I’d go to sleep when Lost was over a half hour later. But at 10:00 p.m. I was still wide awake. I thought reading for a little while might help, but I’m not one of those people who reads at night to fall asleep. I’m generally engaged in what I’m reading so it keeps me up.

At about 11:00 p.m. I closed my book and turned off the light and got under the covers. And I stared at the ceiling. However, at about 11:15 my entire body went totally limp and numb from the Tylenol. Everything was dead. Except my head. I couldn’t move. But I could think. I could think about how much I wanted to sleep but couldn’t.

I tossed and turned and flipped and adjusted pillows and blankets (too hot, too cold), got up to pee, went back to bed, tossed and turned some more, let the dog out, tossed and turned, swapped pillows, let the dog in, pulled on extra blankets, kicked them off, kicked Bill a few times because he dared to sleep (and snore), sat up and contemplated the hell I was in, wondered if I should take a shot a NyQuil, worried that it would counteract the Tylenol, fumed, turned, flipped and tossed.

Finally at about 5:00 a.m. I think I dozed off. But I woke up again when I heard Bill leaving at about 6:00. And then my alarm went off at 7:00 a.m.

I am so tired. Full-on, deep in my bones, eyes are burning, my hair hurts tired.

So sleepy…

Don’t You See The Feet?

I have a question:

When you walk into a public bathroom and the stall door is closed, do you rattle it, then pound on it and then push it? Or do you move on to another stall that’s clearly unoccupied (ie: the door is open, there are no feet)?

That’s what I thought.

AT&T, You’re on Notice

I’ve had a cell phone with AT&T for about 12 years. I’ve been a loyal customer since cell phones were the size of bricks. I stuck with them through all their name changes. Every 2 years or so (sometimes even more often) I renew my contract and upgrade my phones. Sometimes it’s a matter of cool, new technology and sometimes it’s because technology takes a big dump and I’m left with a useless phone.

I’m on my second Blackberry right now.  Seventeen months ago, my first Blackberry died spectacularly. The trackball wouldn’t work—except to randomly dial or e-mail people. People like my parents. At 3:00 a.m. Or a client, who wasn’t thrilled when my phone resent the same e-mail 32 times. I loved the Blackberry, though, and upgraded to a new one. And it’s been a love affair since it arrived in the mail. I IM, keep up with Facebook, text, get online and, best of all, I can get my e-mail from three accounts, including work. I have used it oversees (Hello, China!) without any problems or delays. And I have managed to not get tendinitis in my thumbs.

But now my beloved Blackberry is dying a slow and painful death. A few months ago the trackball turned a menacing shade of red. And now it periodically locks up and won’t let me move it. In fact, the entire phone randomly locks up and I can’t get in or out of it. I can’t even shut it off and reset it when that happens. I have to wait for it to finish its coffee break or whatever the hell is going on before it will allow me to dial, e-mail, PIN, text or even check my address book.

So I am one month out from my upgrade date and I want a new phone. But AT&T isn’t allowing that. Not yet. Because I am a Mac girl through and through (laptop, iPod, iPod Shuffle, desktop at home and desktop at work) I decided to be brave and get an iPhone. In spite of my Mac-ness, this wasn’t an easy decision. I like the Berry. I love the keyboard. And I love some of the other messege features.

So today, I went into the Apple store near work to buy the iPhone. No luck. They can check my AT&T account to see when I can upgrade and since I’m 30 days out, the damn phone would cost $599. Um, yeah. Not happening. I’m not dropping the equivelent of a car payment on a cell phone. I thanked the salesclerk and left.

On  my way home I decided to stop by the AT&T store to plead my case. I told them my story—long-time client, faithfully upgrading, dying phone, etc. He said he felt bad, so he could upgrade me to any phone in the store—EXCEPT the iPhone and the Blackberry Bold. The only two phones I was considering.

He was very sympathetic but said there was nothing he could do. He even said that the regional sales manager told them that even if HE came in, they were not allowed to upgrade him to one either. I was told that they subsidized so much of the cost of the phone that they’d tell you no even one day before you’re upgradeable. He went so far to tell me that they would do that even at the risk of losing my business.

Which sounds like a pretty shitty business plan to me.

So now I’m pissed. And without a consistently working phone. And there’s not a god-damned thing I can do about it. Except hope the thing holds in there for another 30 days.

AT&T—you suck.