Thursday, August 24, 2006

COLUMN: Sleep

Well, here we are again. Another Monday night, another column deadline looming, another blank Notepad screen.

I'd love to tell you that I'm excited about all this. I'd love to tell you that after my vacation two weeks ago, I am now fully recharged and ready to send you into stitches as a lean, mean, humor writing machine. Truth be told, all I really want to do right now -- yawwwwn -- is go to bed.

I try to be okay at the funny stuff, but I am downright pathetic when it comes to time management. I should be grateful -- my twisted schedule allows me to keep the day job, write this column every week, AND spend my weekends DJing down in the District. All told, it's my own slice of heaven. Well, it would be, if it wasn't for this whole pesky "sleeping" thing.

I have ALWAYS hated sleep. If someone were to hand me a pill right now that would let me function normally while never having to sleep again, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Sleep is wasted time. Okay, sure, sometimes it feels awfully good to snuggle under the covers and relax for a bit, but I still can't shake the feeling that I'm missing all kinds of stuff.

Every night, I try to push the envelope. I have to be at the paper at 9:30 every weekday morning. Pretty cushy, right? Most of my co-workers are in by 8:00, while I get to sleep in. I should be loving it, yeah? No dice. Instead, every morning I stagger around in a stupor because I stayed up late like an idiot the night before. If I'm in bed every night by 2:00 a.m., it's a miracle.

Granted, some of that is because I'm up until sunrise on the weekends because of my DJ gig. But a lot of it is just because I'm stubborn and fight sleep like it's Skeletor and I'm He-Man. It can be 1:30 in the morning, I'll be lying in bed, and suddenly a car will drive by my window.

"Lucky SOB," I'll think to myself. That person doesn't have to be in bed. That person doesn't have to play by the rules. That person's probably having fun right now. Of course, the truth of the matter is that the driver of that car is probably (a) on their way to a really uninteresting overnight job, or (b) on their way to tomorrow morning's police blotter. Still, they're living life and I'm sleeping through it.

I could rationalize this if there was a single worthwhile thing to do in the pitch middle of the night. Of course, there's not. So I stay up late and short myself sleep doing little more than channel-flipping from bad late-night show to another. And I'm not talking Late Night With Conan O'Brien kind of late-night; Conan's a matinee as far as I'm concerned.

No, I'm talking laaaate night, where television has but two options. The first of which is, of course, the wide, wonderful world of infomercials. Yes, the land where buying and selling houses can net you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye. The land where every major celebrity was an acne-ridden monster before they used Proactiv. And, of course, the land where, at any given moment, there's a very good chance that the Girls are Going Wild.

Your other television option is to switch to the movie channels. As a pop culture worshipper, I donate heavily to the Church of Mediacom, and they give me salvation in the form of eleventy million different HBO & Starz channels. The problem is, the only time of day I get to take advantage of this is the 1-3 a.m. zone, and that's not exactly your prime movie hours. No, instead that's when you get straight-to-video movies with names like "Cold Vengeance 3." Movies whose TV Guide descriptions invariably start with the phrase, "A renegade biker... on a lone search for justice..."

Of course, there's always Skinem... sorry, Cinemax, where you can almost kinda sorta watch people make whoopie. Yes, the joyous world of cable-friendly adult cinema, where the whoopie-making is kept to a tasteful minimum so that you can really focus on the plots, which are always EXCEPTIONAL in films of this genre. Sorry, Cinemax, but if I wanted to not-watch people making whoopie, I'd look in a mirror.

I've just been pushing this no-sleep thing too much lately. Two weekends ago, I got home from the club and fell asleep at 6:00 a.m. to wake up... at 7:00 P.M.! Sunday, thou hast forsaken me! ONE DAY without a single job, and I was so sleep deprived that I snored through the whole thing. Maybe I need Ambien. Maybe I just need a swift kick in the rump and my mom to yell, "GET TO BED!" Either way, I need to put this column to bed. I'm way too tired, and I need to go... watch some TV.

2 comments:

Alivia said...

ohhhh i would definitely take the non-sleeping pill. maximize unproductivity fuck yea!

Wendy said...

You would think that by now you would know there is nothing to miss during those hours when you should be sleeping. I know, because rather than subject myself to the horrors of infomercials (really, who wants to watch Ron Popeil spray the bald spot on his head or Tony Little yell his way through some exercise equipment demo?) or movies so poorly made that the star's own mother wouldn't pay to see it in a theater, I *turn off* the TV. I'd rather waste the time surfing the 'net.

Of course, that's all pretty much come to a screeching halt now that classes have begun again...

And stop yawning, you'll get me started again and I just got it stopped!