Tuesday, January 27, 2009

From the "Well, duh" Department...

(Screen shot courtesy of msnbc.com)

People, if you're going to eat things like blowfish testicles, you may actually deserve to get sick. This should not be considered a food item. That is all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Tank is Empty

For some reason, I just can't think of anything to write about lately. My posts have been pretty sketchy (and crummy) for the past few weeks. So, I've decided to take an official break from blogging, to see if I can come up with some ideas. I'll be back in a week or so!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There's More Here than Just Chicken, You Know

This post was originally supposed to be about an annoying commercial. The local morning news program that we watch airs this incredibly irritating Goodwill commercial about 10 times a day, and I hate it. (In case those commercials are shown in other places besides Kentucky--it's the one where the Goodwill truck driver is sickeningly smug. What does have to be smug about, anyway?)

I digress. When I started planning this post in my head, I did a YouTube search to see if anyone had added that Goodwill commercial. I entered "Kentucky commercial" as my search term, which produced a couple thousand results. To my dismay, almost all of them were commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Now, you won't find me joining the Kentucky tourism promotion groups anytime soon. I've lived here all my life, and it's not necessarily a bad place. There is a lot of beautiful scenery, the whole horse thing (if you're into that), and some pretty interesting historical sites. But, even though we have a lot of nice things to look at, I've often wondered what brings people here from cooler places. Still, I'm sure that there is more to recommend us as a state than a chicken chain! We may have our faults, but we deserve more than just a perpetual association with artery-clogging fried fowl and an old guy in a white suit and string tie.

You may ask what I intend to do to remedy this situation, and help boost my fair state's reputation. Well, since I'm pretty lazy, probably nothing, except for cultivating my righteous indignation. I'm certainly not going to boycott KFC in protest, because their popcorn chicken is really tasty.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Walkin' After Midnight

(Courtesy of bluebuddies.com)

Writer's block has kept me from posting for a while. I've been dealing with a distinct lack of creativity this week, mostly because I can't sleep. The not-sleeping thing is not new, but it's getting worse, and I can't explain it. I do all the things those "Get Better Sleep Now" articles advise: no caffeine after 2 pm; no heavy meals in the evening; keep a regular bedtime; wind down with relaxing activities prior to bedtime, etc. I don't do regular exercise every day, but I seldom sit down before 8 pm (chores), and I get up at 5 am during the week. That should make for a solid seven or eight hours of shut-eye, right? Wrong. I've been lucky to sleep three hours a night for the past two weeks.

Now, I have heard that doctors are handing out sleeping pills like candy these days. I'm sure I could see a GP and get Ambien, or Lunesta, or something like that, but I'm really wary about taking those things. A quick Google searched for Ambien produced a lengthy and alarming list of side effects, including "new thinking or behavior abnormalities." What? New thinking or behavior abnormalities? As if I'm not abnormal enough already? No, thanks. Nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth are all pretty standard drug warnings, and I could deal with them. This was the real kicker, though (courtesy of rxlist.com):
  • Complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” (i.e., driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic, with amnesia for the event)
  • Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic
It's the chance of "complex behaviors" during sleep that will prevent me from taking one of these drugs. You see, I'm a sleepwalker. My subconscious does pretty well on its own; it doesn't really need any assistance in making me do bizarre things at night.

If you're a sleepwalker, then you are probably as alarmed as I am at the thought of making that condition any worse; if you're not a sleepwalker, well...just be thankful. Sleepwalking episodes can produce some pretty amusing stories, but it can also be deeply unnerving. My mom found me standing in the kitchen one night when I was about eight, with a butcher knife in my hand. I wanted to cut some watermelon. She also found me in her closet once, about to pee on her shoes, because I thought I was in the bathroom. During my teenage years, I woke Mom up one night just convinced that someone had plastered and painted all the walls in our house. Since I seemed so coherent, she didn't realize that I was asleep at first; she must have thought I was losing my mind. I scared my poor husband nearly to death when we first moved in together. He had no experience with sleepwalkers, and came into the bedroom one night because he heard p0unding. He found me on my hands and knees, beating the carpet. When he asked what I was doing, I told him, "Somebody has to kill all these snakes!" At one point, he got concerned that I might leave the house while I was asleep, so he started sleeping on the living room sofa to guard the door. I've also showered in the middle of the night more than once, as well as falling out of bed many, many times.

With a history of incidents like this, you can see why I would be a bit hesitant to take a pill that could make me do something even crazier. Preparing and eating food? I did NOT work my butt off (literally) on Weight Watchers just so I could gain the poundage back by sleep-eating. Making phone calls? I hate talking on the phone...I can't imagine that I would want to make calls in my sleep. Sending emails (or Facebooking) in my sleep, maybe, since I have adopted those forms of communication as a way to avoid the hated phone. I can't imagine, however, what kind of lunatic emails I would produce in a sleepwalking, Ambien-addled state. It looks like I should probably try to find a way to get some sleep without pharmaceutical assistance.

In the meantime, I'll be covering my dark circles with concealer, trying to make sure I stay awake at work, and cursing Mother Nature. I've read that some women develop problems sleeping as they get older, because of hormonal changes. It's not enough that I have gray hair, crow's feet, sagging skin, and creaky joints...now I'm supposed to make it through my days on three hours' sleep, too? And I'm not even 40 yet?! Thanks a big fat freakin' lot, Mother Nature. If I wasn't so tired, I would kick you in the shins.