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Monday, 10 November 2003


Mood:  smelly
Now Playing: Radiohead (kill me! kill me!): Kid A.

Not sleeping is becoming a problem.
I got three hours kip a night every night last week, five hours on Friday, and eleven hours on Saturday, but only because I bailed on two different events, which I'd equally wanted to attend. (clubbing with yidaho, and a birthday nosh with my sister.)
By yesterday, the mirror revealed distinct air of beagle.
It's not that I can't sleep. It's that the hours I work are stupidly early. It's just ten o'clock now, and I'm halfway through my working day. And it's also that I'm naturally nocturnal. I feel like I'm missing out if I go to bed.
"There's nothing subversive or militant about my persistent nocturnalism" ~ Ethernautrix (had to quote her; bereft of her blog since an imposed hiatus.)
"If you don't slow yourself down and learn to manage stress, nature will do it for you." ~ BeenThere.
Not anymore.
Last night, I couldn't sleep till 4am. That sets last night's sleepwatch at two hours total.
Eventually I did manage some shut eye - only by throwing open every window all the way, and letting the freezing air and London mist in.

I watched Salem's Lot as a kid. I know what'll get me if I keep doing that.

No hot water again this morning.
Dammit, I even ate vegetables yesterday (like I want a prize), this is not fair. (I'd been impressed enough by the smells of N/C cooking proper food to actually chop some mouldy plants when I got home. Chili con veggie, with disappointingly ungelatinous arborio rice.)
Looking for a 'through-line' (as Lactose Incompetent calls it), I'm trying to be a grown-up - really trying! I open mail 'n' shit. (Found out I pay two lots of car insurance simultaneously yesterday - #2K a year on a car that doesn't exist any more. Jeeeez. I see the point of opening mail, now.)
I even bought a new phone, and I'm gonna answer it if I can...
So: no shower, and no sleep.

Two hours, though. I know Looby has blogged his experiences of regular sleep deprivation, in the past. It feels like I'm permanently asleep and dreaming - that there's a big grey somnambulist soap bubble barrier between me and the world.
I've seen people sectioned through neuroses brought about by lack of sleep. But it's probably hypochondria to worry about that.
After a time, you become somewhat accustomed to it, and it's the days you do get some sleep that you look like shit and show the worst temper.
Life awake is one long process of dodging, of coping mechanisms best described as ill-judged, of wondering if you've morphed into Larry Olivier's Marathon Man yet. Isssss it sssssafe?
I pity the fool who crosses me at work today.

Slap forehead moment: Today's when I asked ex-DH to have The Big Property / Money Talk. Oh frig.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:49 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 10 November 2003 6:38 PM GMT
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Monday, 10 November 2003 - 11:33 AM GMT

Name: tess
Home Page:

Air of beagle? Sounds shlte :-(

Congrats on opening letters and saving money doing so. Wish I had some advice on the sleeplessness thing, but I'm sure it's all crap that you have already heard 1000000 times

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 2:06 PM GMT

Name: NC

Fingers crossed for you and your talk! You should have stayed for some 'proper food' - was roast chicken BTW but no veggies;) Hope was not too moody, and I can't even blame lack of sleep - oh dear. A friend once described me as a Weimaraner - really friendly when you get to know them! Is there a Quizilla for that?

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 3:41 PM GMT

Name: Kat
Home Page:

I'm a sleeper. I have to have my 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night or I'm dragging butt and unbearable to live with the next day.

When I was a kid, though, I could run on fumes and think nothing of it.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 4:24 PM GMT

Name: Martin Sewell
Home Page:

Not sleeping enough can give you the same results as drinking too much. Cheaper, too.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 5:31 PM GMT

Name: jatb

I don't think the effects are that similar - drinking too much often makes me want to sleep with people, usually men I hardly know, particularly if they are the ones handing out the drink; not sleeping only ever makes me want to sleep. There's a whole preposition's worth of difference there.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 6:23 PM GMT

Name: 'andsome!
Home Page:

READ 'Salem's Lot. The book is wonderfully well written and really terrifying. The movie was crap.

Vampires can't get you if you don't invite them in, though. King and Whedon are both clear on that.

I used to be able to get along on very little sleep, too. Basic Training burned that out of me. Lately I seem to be getting it back, but it's not a good thing... I get very little sleep most of the time... five or six hours is a usual max... and I just have to plod along. No hallucinations, but I tire more easily and there's a grainy, subdermal ache to my life when I'm not sleeping enough that I just have to work through.

I'm naturally nocturnal, too... If I can go to bed at 5 or 6 in the morning and sleep the day away, I sleep fine. Technically I COULD do that now that I'm unemployed, but I keep trying to stick to somewhat normal hours against that inevitable moment when someone hires me. I should probably give up, though. Just when I've settled into a comfortable groove, someone WILL hire me...

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 7:02 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Darren said: READ 'Salem's Lot. The book is wonderfully well written and really terrifying. The movie was crap.

Oh, puh-lease. Of course I've read it. (And it's nowhere near as good as Dead Zone or Firestarter, even so.)
The point was having watched the tv movie too young, some of the visuals stuck too deeply in my brain to eradicate.

Vampires can't get you if you don't invite them in, though. King and Whedon are both clear on that.

Aha, but that's just it; if the window is already open, that's almost an invite, especially as I mentally check the image of the floating dead boy in his funeral suit whose fingers scrape the window pane at the end of episode 1 every single time I ever open a window at night. Anyway, Hammer is my vamp authority of choice...!

I get very little sleep most of the time... five or six hours is a usual max... and I just have to plod along. No hallucinations, but I tire more easily and there's a grainy, subdermal ache to my life

Very very nicely put. I wish I'd thought of that phrase.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 7:05 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Well, thanks for the cup of tea, then! I was perfectly happy with that. And the veggies really were mouldy - it was a gruesome job I needed to do.

(talk's not till Wednesday, now)

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 7:07 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Oh, no, I haven't. Not being an actual insomniac, just desperate not to miss something, I don't get the advice parcelled out to me like true insomniacs do. What I need is advice on how to be hard upon yourself, and get to bed on time. There's not usually a problem in sleeping once I get there. It just feels so much like giving up on being awake.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 7:11 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Yes, by the sound of it, their follow up full study should have been published by now. I remain skeptical, although ... well... I have driven tired, yes.
And could it be reversed? Could one argue in law that drunk driving is safer than sleepy driving?

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 7:26 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Fumes it what it feels like. My eyes feel kinda raw.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 8:16 PM GMT

Name: Martin Sewell
Home Page:

Only when pissed.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 8:39 PM GMT

Name: sarah

have you not reached the point where you want sleep more than going out? You need a warm, cosy bed firmly in your mind to counteract a cold, grey, dark outside world when deciding what to do with your evening. I'm guessing though that boiling hte sheets in bleach didn't really work?

Remember - you can always go out tomorrow!

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 8:53 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

This is true, and it's why I cancelled everything on Saturday, throughly annoying everybody concerned.

But it's not just because of going out - if I stay in and stare at the wall, I don't get to bed till 2. It's getting off my arse and deciding the day is over that I find hard.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 9:37 PM GMT

Name: sarah

Curl up with some cocoa, the cat, and a nice book? I can reccomend my current "Lipshtick" by Gwen Mascai, it has absolutely no depth or challenge whatsoever, and very little sex, yet still manages to be readable.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 10:18 PM GMT

Name: tess
Home Page:

Oh well, I'm crap at that sort of advice too lol. Never ask me for guidance, for I too am lost!

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 10:20 PM GMT

Name: tess
Home Page:

Undoubtedly - if you've ever had the misfortune to encounter me tired, then yes! I'd be safer pissed anyday.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 10:22 PM GMT

Name: tess
Home Page:

No sex? Readable? Pah!

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 10:27 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

My sister just suggested I have a second alarm clock, to tell me when to go to bed. And that I stop drinking wine in the evenings, because it contains life-giving sweet sweet sugar. Ahem.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 10:29 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Ahhh, I geddit, though - a trashy book? Good idea.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 11:40 PM GMT

Name: sarah

hahaa. I mean, it's ideal because you don't get all *cough* worked up *cough* reading it, it's easy to calm you down and send you to sleep. It also gives you a unique insight into the mind of a straight woman - that sounds less generalisationistic if you actually read it.

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 11:51 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

I shall buy out the Black Lace bookshelf at Canary Wharf bookshop tomorrow. That is what you meant?

Monday, 10 November 2003 - 11:51 PM GMT

Name: 'andsome
Home Page:

DEAD ZONE is a wonderful book, and FIRESTARTER is a lovely read, but I couldn't fairly compare either to SALEM'S LOT. SL is a true horror novel, while DEAD ZONE is... well, a tragic romance/political thriller/SFer, while FIRESTARTER is, basically, CARRIE meets THE FURY. Both are excellent and I've reread them many times, but they simply aren't really comparable to SALEM'S LOT. SALEM'S LOT made me not walk out doors after dark for a week after I read it.

On that subject, do you like King's later work? I find he stopped writing well right after DIFFERENT SEASONS. IT was, in my opinion, horrible, and everything since then has just stunk up the place.

As to vampires and invitations, well, remember, the vampires in SL were capable of exerting telepathic influence on you, or long range hypnosis, or something. I've always wished Whedon had given his vampires more of the mental abilities and supernatural charm of classic vampires, but, well, he was doing an action series, so they all got to be martial artists instead. Except very rarely, though, vampires on BUFFY are rarely at all scary. They're more just annoying.

But, yeah, childhood images stick with us.

I'm glad you liked the phrase. I'm awful at nearly everything, but I do write well. Thanks for mentioning it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 12:05 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Darren said: DEAD ZONE is a wonderful book, and FIRESTARTER is a lovely read, but I couldn't fairly compare either to SALEM'S LOT. SL is a true horror novel, while DEAD ZONE is... well, a tragic romance/political thriller/SFer, while FIRESTARTER is, basically, CARRIE meets THE FURY.

That's bollocks!

On that subject, do you like King's later work? I find he stopped writing well right after DIFFERENT SEASONS.

Agreed. That was the last thign of his I liked. His Bachman books were soul destroying stuff.
I read most of his stuff because my sister had them, which is the same reason I started reading horror and comics.
I'd have to say that not a one of these texts compares to Paradise Lost, though, so there you have it: culturally slumming, while still retaining cult-snob pretensions. Except it's true. Even Stoker and Le Fanu are better. I think King would agree.

In comparison to real, well researched stuff about vampires, then Whedon is a fey wannabe. I don't see how someone who created a good tv series can be compared to someone who creates a good novel...

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 3:38 AM GMT

Name: 'andsome
Home Page:

That's bollocks!

Don't mince words, Bones. Say what you REALLY think. ::grin::

Obviously, I can't take issue with such a sweeping refutation. However, FIRESTARTER is, honestly, just a better version of John Farris' THE FURY with some touches of CARRIE thrown in. I don't mind... I enjoy the book entirely, and have reread it many times... but still, the commonalities between all three books are undeniable.

And, again, I really don't think it's fair to compare SALEM'S LOT to either of the other two. They are, all three of them, very different novels.

Now, as to comparing someone who writes a great novel to someone who creates a great TV series, well, again, they are entirely different art forms and mediums. Obviously, a TV show, like a movie, is very much a collaborative venture. However, the fact that one can instantly feel it when Whedon is hands on involved with BUFFY (first five seasons) as opposed to when he suddenly walked out to concentrate on ANGEL (sixth season) shows that indeed, one certainly has to give his particular vision and talents a lot of props.

Having written seven novels myself, none of them anything remotely approaching great, I am tempted to say that an author is always better than a mere TV or movie producer/director... but I'm not sure at all that's fair.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 3:40 AM GMT

Name: Reverend Rob
Home Page:

Insomnia is a fine thing, truth be told. I've dabbled in all sorts of fun little things that most governments say fry your brain (and, well, they do, but that's beside the point), but one of the most intense evenings I've had came after 90 hours without sleep. The circumstances surrounding this marathon of grogginess, incoherent mumblings, and various stages of undress in various public places are unimportant. The result, though, was an incredible mixture of insights and hallucinations... well, I also had a spotless apartment after the whole thing, but that, too, is beside the point.
Insomnia can be quite fun if you have the time to do it properly and without worrying about the consequences.
Of course, having to work directly following one of those bouts can be difficult. I recommend copious amounts of java tempered with a dash of habenero oil for a kick. That will at least get you through the day with a few twitches, a pair of shaking hands, and a temperment that would not draw unwanted questions - it is sure to keep EVERYONE away.
Good luck!

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 7:53 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Cheers Rob - yes I've watched people do marathon insomnia like that, and without exception they were forcibly sectioned in front of me after a while, and spent the rest of the decade trying to outgrow the resultant 'schizophrenia' label.
So, shyah, riiiiiight, blogging about not sleeping well means that couldn't apply to me, right? :o)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 10:47 AM GMT

Name: tess
Home Page:

Sometimes I find that erm calming myself down after errrrr getting worked up gets me feeling ready for bed and sleep nicely ;-) I know I'm going to regret posting this lol

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 11:23 AM GMT

Name: sarah

yes, if you like :P

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 12:35 PM GMT

Name: The Reverend Rob
Home Page:

Oh... oh, no... that could NEVER apply to you...
Why am I backing away slowly and non-threateningly? Oh, no reason, really. I swear.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 5:53 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Ewww, not much! But I'm ready to make the sacrifices necessary; if it means getting hot under the collar reading bad erotic fiction, so be it. I never paid the fee to read it online.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 5:55 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Ahhhhhhh yes, I know through hearsay of that to which you refer (Sister Voluptua spoke of such foreign practises at the Missionary) - but those are the nights that guaran-damn-tee the hot water will be broken the next morning.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 5:57 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Do you like my little friend the claw hammer? Sometimes he plays 'smash'. [ hums ]


Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 6:01 PM GMT

Name: The Reverend Rob
Home Page:

An insomniatic, psychotic, hammer-wielding Brit... will wonders ne'er cease?

"Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun."

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 8:03 PM GMT

Name: sarah

I never knew how much trashy erotic fiction they sell in WHSmiths at train stations! Me, my mam is a librarian and often brings me home the so-badly-thumbed-they're-falling-apart books. These are usually the "heaving bodice" sort of books, possibly as my mother thinks they'll make me straight or something.

ha.... no.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 8:09 PM GMT

Name: Martin Sewell
Home Page:

I had the same problem when I quit being an alcoholic.

See Timing is everything and Restless nights, listless days.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 9:32 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

My best day as a weekend librarian in Islington: bashful man drops off pile of books and legs it.
Me (shouting) "Sir! You have twenty PEE fine on 'What's Wrong With My Willy', Sir!"

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 9:38 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

But I haven't quit!

Schizophrenics are similarly often active at night. "Psychiatrists have tended to dismiss this observation with the notion that 'they can't hold down a job, so of course they will be staying up all night' "

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 9:40 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Seems to smash all the snaggle-toothed psycho Tommy stereotypes, doesn't it? ;o)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 9:47 PM GMT

Name: The Rev

But I bet you can still play a mean pin-ba.... forget it...

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 10:11 PM GMT

Name: sarah

nahaaha. My mam came home from work to proudly announced that the tiny, pit village library she works at *isn't* bottom of the County lending league for the first time ever, that honour going to a library in a wooden shack in the middle of Kielder Forest that's only open 3 hours a week.

it's an exciting world, that of the librarians.

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 10:31 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Okay, I'll try two more:

Best day # 3 as a librarian -
I curled up under the stack shelving at 2pm on a Saturday (near Sociology) and had a snooze, in the middle of a packed library. Nobody noticed.

Best day # 4 as a librarian -
Decided to walk home (two miles) for lunch. Well, for afternoon tea break, then, I guess I'd had lunch. Stayed a while, had a snooze, hiked back.
Nobody noticed! :o)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 10:33 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Lol, cue geeetar solo.

Actually, recent events have rather .. erm ... adapted the meaning of that whole 'film' now, haven't they?

Tuesday, 11 November 2003 - 11:30 PM GMT

Name: The Rev

See, there's a line about playing with "mean teen balls," but I'd rather not lower myself to such a demeaning and common level by voicing it.
But, then, a new meaning to Tommy is better than the total destruction of other classic rock operas. 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat' for example... just what IS he wearing underneath that thing and why is he heading towards the school yard...?
Yowch. That even bothered me on some level. I think I'd best have some stout and grub and try to forget that remark.

Wednesday, 12 November 2003 - 10:55 AM GMT

Name: sarah
Home Page:

You missed out number two there. I'd ask what the worst day was, but I'm not sure I want to know..

Wednesday, 12 November 2003 - 5:53 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Number two was embarrassing - some old man ex-actor I'd had a crush on for years came in, and I let him off his 84pee fine.

Wednesday, 12 November 2003 - 11:35 PM GMT

Name: sarah

*puzzlement* well who's that then? and you haven't mentioned the worst.

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