A Lifestyle Change and Bits and Bobs

I’m going to have to get up earlier. Thing is, I’ve been a night owl since I learned how to read and find my father’s flashlight. I whiled away my first-grade late nights hiding under the blankets reading Madame Bovary. (Kidding: it was What Katie Did.) The pattern hasn’t changed. It doesn’t matter if I’ve read all day, I still can’t go to sleep unless I’ve turned over the pages of a bedside table book for at least an hour. I have friends who tell me they can’t sleep unless they’re lulled to sleep by the television in the bedroom and that’s just a modern version of my affliction. I can count on the fingers of two hands the number of lifetime nights I’ve gone to sleep without a book drooping from my hand.

That’s never going to change, but I think I’m going to have to impose a time limit. Not being able to punch in at a job has destroyed my sleep patterns; I’m more than ever likely to stay awake until 2 am reading. Reading, I may add, nothing I haven’t read at least twice — if I dreed my weird to bed with a new Carl Hiassen or Tess Gerritsen, I’d lower my lamp,( or flashlight) when I’d finished it, even with dawn’s pearly fingers splashed on the ceiling.

Through seventeen readings I know how Madame Maigret’s Case turns out. My days are getting busier: I should set the clock for eight hours after I turn out my light and drag myself out of bed, no snooze, when the alarm goes off. Geez, I did better than just get by in my professional life with much less sleep.

Heavens, Roger Clemens admitted to vitamin B12 injections! (Keep it under your hats — I feel better after I’ve had one.) To think that Satchell Paige’s miracle drug was hooch.

August has long been known as The Silly Season in politics. This year is no exception: vide the Islamic Center flap.

I received an advance reading copy of Niki Segnit’s “The Flavor Thesaurus.” I think it’s genuinely interesting, the recipes are terrific, and I suggest you check it out when it’s published.

Because every blog post needs a picture to break up the type,  I offer this snap: Ajax’s ears peeping from behind the love seat as he checks out his hood for dogs, safe inside.


Filed under Animals, Body, History, Home, Library Card, On the Street Where I Live, The 'Ville

7 responses to “A Lifestyle Change and Bits and Bobs

  1. Whoa. Thassa lotta thinkin’!

    And yay Ajax!

  2. Thee and me, M’Dear. Wanna go halvies on several cases of D-Bats?

    Mine’s a little ole parlor lamp all prinked up with inside-painted overblown roses and a real chimney that I have to clean when I think of it. I toss a green cotton sham crossways of it, shading all but the side next to the wall on my side.

    It’s burning now, nightlight to see me to bed, then I twitch the edges til I get a good beam on my book, so as not to disturb Chris, who sleeps like a baby.

    Midnight reading was the cause of the first time I ever saw my gentleman Daddy in his boxers. I’d just got to a GOOOOD part in my book, and he called out down the hall the dreaded, “Turn out that LIGHT!”

    I waited til I thought he was snoring, then switched it back on. Somehow my seven-year-old mind reasoned that if I held the book with one hand and toggled the key off and on in spells, it wouldn’t REALLY be turning it on.

    Next thing I knew, Daddy charged into my room faster than I had ever seen him run, yelling all the while. He’d run in so quickly, not regarding modesty, because he thought the room was on fire.

    I lost book privileges for two weeks. Sheer Hell.

    Our Girl—gonna be THREE soon—is getting a Dick and Jane reader for her birthday.

  3. Oh Rachel, I envy your reading lamp. I have a comely and cheap Ikea model, but it’s, as my Gammy would have said, “No beauty queen.” But it works. I try to remember all our ancestors, blasting out their eyesight by candlelight.

    Books read under covers are the books we remember.

  4. sparrowgrass

    My reading-in-bed lamp is a utilitarian floor lamp with three adjustable lights–one shines on the book, one is aimed at the ceiling to kind of eliminate the shadows. (The other one is in reserve, just in case it gets REALLY dark one night.) I don’t have to worry about keeping anyone awake, so I can read with abandon.

    And I have been. I bought a Sony Reader–and I love, love, love it. I have loaded 80-some books onto it, and all but 4 or 5 were free. I have read thru the Anne of the Island books, Mark Twain, the Little House books, and many others.

    The Reader is such an efficient way to get the words from the author’s mind into mine–I don’t miss the books at all. I know that is heresy, but I have always been all about the words, and not the books themselves. I dog ear pages, I read in the tub and the pool, I (gasp) discard, give away, thrift shop books I don’t read any more. I have even been know to tear a paperback into smaller sections and tuck those into a jacket pocket for reading on the run.

    I am not clearing my bookshelves just yet, but I am thoroughly in love with this new technology. I purposefully did not buy a Kindle–my impulse control would have a hard time with the concept of instant access to any book I want, at any time.

    I haven’t taken the Reader up to the pool yet, but I just saw a post from someone who ziplocks hers and does just that.

    /commercial for e-readers.

    • Deb: It’s great to get your thoughts about e-readers. I’ve been resisting them from some latent fuddy-duddyism, but if someone I trust, viz. you, approves I may have to reconsider.

  5. Kim Shook

    I, too, am an all night reader from WAY back. I could NOT go to sleep without finding out how Nancy or Trixie solved the case. And, like you, even though I KNOW how Miss Marple solves it, I can’t seem to PUT THE DAMN BOOK DOWN. I know that I’ll regret it in the morning, I know that I’ll be a zombie at work all day, but that still doesn’t convince me to put it down.

    Luckily for me, Mike doesn’t mind the light, so I don’t disturb him. I don’t smoke in our bedroom, though, so most of my late night reading happens in the family room. My going to sleep ritual includes the slowly drooping book and the TV set to the swing music channel. 1940’s books and music – think I was born in the wrong decade?

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