Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: sleep

Sleep

First a post about sadness, now sleep.  Can he get any more boring?

Hold on a minute.  I think we should write more about sleep.  Think about it.  We sleep for 1/3 of our lives.  If we live to a hundred years of age, that means we slept for thirty-three years (ok, thirty-three and a third).  The woman at Bagel Stop in Redondo Beach is thirty-three years old.  I know that because I recently heard her tell her friend, “Woo-hoo, I’m thirty-three today!  Are you coming to the Cheesecake Factory tonight with Joey for the party?”  On that same day as her birthday, somewhere else in Los Angeles, an elderly man turned a hundred years old.  He had slept through the bagel woman’s entire life.

We like to tell stories about action, not sleep.  We climb mountains, we kill whales, we buy video games, we love.  We write about sex.  But sex is small potatoes compared to sleep.  Even if we had sex every single night for our entire lives, which in my experience lasts about… uh, eight minutes a pop, that means that if we live to a hundred, we have only spent 8 minutes x 356 days x 100 years having sex, which equals…  well, just take my word for it… it is less than the time we sleep.   I’m just too sleepy to do the equation.

Yes, I’m sleepy.  Exhausted.  I can’t wait to go to sleep. 

Should I be embarrassed to tell you, my dear reader, that I want to go to sleep?  It does feel a little funny.  It’s an area that we usually keep off-screen, like Meryl Streep sitting on a toilet in a movie.

I’d like to take sleep out of the closet for one day. 

Years ago, poets compared sleep to death, and maybe that has scared us from talking about it.  Sleep is the absence of action.  It looks like we are dead to the world.  A lot of people actually DO die in their sleep.  People have nightmares.  Children want the lights on.  Sleep can be creepy.

But it’s time to take the reaper out of the sleeper! 

I see sleep as food for the brain.  If the day sucked, there’s always tomorrow.  Sleep refreshes you.  If it was a good day, a good night’s sleep is a reward for your accomplishment. 

Sleep is your friend.  I don’t usually remember my dreams, but I’m sure they are good ones.  I’m sure there are a lot of hot women in my dreams every night.  I know this for sure — in my dreams, the sex always lasts for longer than eight minutes.

Good night.  Sweet dreams.

Fearless the Cat

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I fell asleep in the living room last night and had some sort of nightmare. I would tell you what it was about, but I’m trying to be more honest in my writing, and I don’t remember it at all. I rarely remember my dreams.

I climbed upstairs to the bedroom and slid into Sophia’s bed. She was sleeping and mumbled something about me “waking her up.” I lay there in that half-sleep, half-awake state when the mind seems to be at the most volatile and creative. I had some amazing insightful thought about my life, so important that it was worthy of waking Sophia up for a second time.

“You know what my problem is.” I announced. “I think other people are “bigger” — more important than me — and I’m too “small.” I should think of myself as a giant to compensate. Someone fearless. A fearless giant.”

“Huh? A what?” moaned Sophia, groggily.

“…fearless giant.”

“Felix Giant?”

“Fearless Giant!”

“Felix Giant?  I thought it was Felix the Cat.”

“I’m not talking about Felix the Cat.”

“Isn’t Felix the Cat a cartoon?” she asked with her eyes still closed.

“It is.”

“I’ve never seen it. Is it funny?”

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, either. It’s a pretty old cartoon.”

“So, Felix the Cat was a giant?” she slurred.

“Forget Felix the Cat. What I said was “Fear-less Giant.” I want to feel bigger. Not afraid.”

“Oh.”

Sophia rolled over and went back to sleep.

“You want to have sex?” I asked.

“Zzzzzzzz.”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthMy Brilliant Literary Career

To Sleep, Perchance to Blog

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Nothing bugs me more than blogging “experts” pontificating on what a blog should or shouldn’t be about.  Sure, it might help them write a book on blogging or speak at a conference, but what does anyone know more than YOU about your own personal stuff?

In October, I complained about a blogging book with the title “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog.”  As a member of the LBADL (Lunch Bloggers Anti-Defamation League), I immediately wrote a post describing what I had for lunch.

Yesterday, I  read a post saying that bloggers should spend more time on their posts, in the hope of creating well-written essays like David Sedaris and selling themselves to magazine editors.   First of all, there already is a David Sedaris, so it seems hopeless to become another one.  Second of all, he is gay, and it is not worth becoming gay just to get published.  And honestly, the chances of your blog doing anything for your writing career are so slim, you might as well just have fun and experiment.

To prove my point, I’m attempted a live blogging experiment.  I went to sleep in the living room and put the alarm on for 3AM.  My goal was to ramble on about my dream, not giving a crap about whether it was interesting or not.

It is now 3AM.  The only problem is that the minute the alarm jarred me out of my gentle slumber, I immediately forgot what I was dreaming about.  This is pretty typical.  I never remember my dreams.  I’ve even tried keeping a pencil and pad by my bed, but by the time I reach for the pencil, the entire dream has disappeared like… well, like a dream.

Even though this blogging dream experiment was a complete failure, I’m glad I did it.  I could have wimped out.  I could have been afraid that some of you would say, “Oh my God, Neil’s post today was a complete mess that he wrote at 3AM.  I’m never reading this blog again!”

If anything, waking up at 3AM has inspired me to write a little bit about SLEEP itself.  

Did you ever notice that we love to write about food and sex, but hardly ever about sleep?   I don’t know about you, but sometimes, there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep.   Between Sophia and the whole car accident scare, and my mother in town, bugging me about getting a haircut, I’ve actually looked forward to just going to sleep the last couple of days.    

I did have a haircut today.  But not because of my mother.

“You look homeless,” my mother has told me over and over again for the last few days.   But I ignored her. 

Today I was in Ralph’s Supermarket, when a woman , around 30, started waving at me.  She was very attractive, but there was something odd about her.  Maybe it was all the chopsticks sticking in her hair.

“How are you?” she asked.

“Fine.”  I said meekly, unsure who she was.  She sensed that I was uncomfortable.

“I know you, right?”

“I don’t think so.  Maybe you mistake me for someone else.”

“Don’t you lecture at the Krishna Center?”

“I’m sorry.  You DO mistake me for someone else.”

I immediately left the supermarket and went for a haircut.

Jeez?  How did I get to talking about my haircut.  Wasn’t I just talking about SLEEP?  I think my mind is starting to play tricks on me, like those college students involved in sleep deprivation tests.

Boy, am I sleepy.  Why am I up at 3AM writing this stupid blog post?  To be honest, if I had the choice RIGHT NOW of being served a five course meal from the finest restaurant in New York, of having Kate Winslet walking in naked, climbing on top of me, and f**king until morning, or just going back to sleep — I would choose SLEEP. 

Now tell me sleep is NOT a worthy subject to write about.

Neil’s Penis:  I strongly disagree with the last statement of Neilochka’s ridiculous post, especially the Kate Winslet part.  I will now punish him by making it hard for him to go back to sleep.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  The Argument

Why a Pillow is No Substitute for a Woman

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Yesterday was mother-son bonding day in the Kramer New York household.  We did a family favorite — we went to Macy’s One Day Sale with a 25% off coupon we received in the mail.  I convinced my mother that her coat was getting old, and I helped her pick out a nicer one.  The big drama began when the cost of the coat turned out to be $99.65 and the salesman wouldn’t use our coupon because he said the purchase had to be $100.  Talk about hard-asses!  Is this the same company that puts on the playful Thanksgiving Day Parade?  But my mother would not relent.  We searched for the cheapest thing you could buy in Macy’s, so we could stick it to them and still get our discount.  We ended up buying a $1.25 bottle of Macy’s “Spring Water.”  Where the hell is this spring — under Herald Square?

On the way home, we stopped in downtown Flushing, which is more of a real Chinatown than the Chinatown in Manhattan.  I took my mother to have her first dim sum.  If you have never been to this type of Chinese restaurant, dim sim is usually served in a large banquet hall.  Rather than ordering from a menu, women push these carts with different types of appetizers.  If you are kosher, forget about it!  Most of the dishes are either pork or shrimp.  You get charged a modest amount for each plate.  These restaurants get jammed on weekends, so we had to share a large banquet table with a family that didn’t speak English.  My mother was a little nervous because she was unfamiliar with all of the dishes.  I tried to act confident, but the truth was I had no idea what half of the dishes were myself.  I avoided ordering anything that looked like fish eyeballs. 

Last night, I slept on the living room couch.  This morning, I woke up and noticed that my legs were all scratched and cut, almost as if my legs were in a knife fight. 

“What in the world happened to me?” I asked my mother as she was cooking some oatmeal.

My mother is a big fan of detective shows like CSI and The Closer, so we both sat down to examine the evidence.

1)  Our first thought was that it was a reaction to the dim sum, but it seemed unlikely that this would only affect my legs.

2)  We discussed “bed bugs” in the couch, but there were no visible bites, only scratches.

3)  Despite watching “The Polar Express” last night, where the moral of the story is “believe,” we do not believe in ghosts wanting to do harm to my legs for some evil reason.

4)  My mother insisted that she doesn’t sleepwalk.  And if she did sleepwalk and come over to me with scissors in hand, she wouldn’t cut my legs.  “I would probably cut your hair.  It looks awful.” she said.

5)  Finally, our TV detective method paid off.  When I used to be in bed with Sophia, I would always wrap my legs around her legs while I was sleeping.  Being a creature of habit, I was wrapping my legs around the abrasive pillows of the couch, and every time I moved, I would scratch and cut my legs against the pillows’ zippers without even waking up!

Love hurts.

I Used to Be Lonely, Now I’m Not

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(from bedjump.com)

I was down.  I was depressed.  I was lonely.  At night I would sit alone, listening to the wind.  Or watch an informercial for a product I didn’t need — with the TV sound off. 

We’ve all been there.  Some of us are there right now. 

Thank you kind bloggers who “shared their bed” with me to ease my loneliness. 

My father never spoke to me about marriage or sex, but he would always say “it is good to have someone to hold around in bed.”  (he really said that — ask Sophia!)

This week is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.  My New Year’s wish is that during this year, everyone I’ve met online who doesn’t have somebody should meet someone worthwhile to “hold around in bed.”

THEY SHARED THEIR BED WITH ME:

CAITLIN’S BED

Caitlin’s bed is in New York.

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Caitlin (of Caitlinator) has gone back to school, does not eat at McDonald’s, and loves her pet chicken.

 

LAURIE’S BED

Laurie’s bed is in Los Angeles. 

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Laurie (of Crazy Aunt Purl) is a popular knitting blogger who has inspired me to start making my own socks.  She does not need an alarm clock to wake up in morning because her bright orange bedspread does that for her.

 

DAGNY’S BED

Dagny’s bed is in Berkeley, California.

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Dagny (of Dagny’s Empire) is out dancing the night away so often that her cat spends more time on the bed than she does.

 

DAISEY MAE’S BED

Daisy Mae’s bed is in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

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Daisy Mae (of Daisy Mae was here…) is well-known for making beautiful blog templates.  She is such a talented graphic artist, that she has made a cut-out of herself to fool her children while she blogs at Starbucks.

 

FELICITY’S BED

Felicity’s bed is in New York.  

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Felicity, of Zelos, is not a shy woman.  In fact, she’s thinking of taking up pole dancing.  For some reason, her bed intimidates me.

 

HEATHER’S BED

Heather’s bed is in Orange County, CA.

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Heather works and takes care of her kids, and doesn’t have time to blog.   Her bed reflects her “do it all” lifestyle — a little messy, but very homey.

 

LAURA’S BED

Laura’s bed is in Los Angeles. 

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Laura is in the process of starting up her first blog.   I’m guessing there were many sleepless nights in this bedroom with the crib right next to the bed!

 

LIZARDEK’S BED

Lizardek’s bed is in Sweden.

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Lizardek (of Lizardek’s Obiter Dictum) works, has a family, and sings in a choir.   Look at the exquisite European craftsmanship of her bed!  (and no, she didn’t get it at IKEA).

 

ROBERTA’S BED

Roberta’s bed is in New Jersey. 

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Roberta (of Roberta’s Voice) is the only blogger I know who is both Jewish and Wiccan.   She’s also pretty funny.  I’m still trying to decide if her bedspread looks more Jewish or Wiccan.

 

SWEET’S BED

Sweet’s bed is in Washington D.C. 

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Sweet (of Sour N Sweet) co-blogs with Sour, but her bed is all hers.    I love the relaxed, lived-in look, and the retro wood-grain wall, which reminds me of the time I slept in the basement of Rachel Kinder’s parent’s home in Merrick, Long Island.

 

TARA’S BED

Tara’s bed is in Iowa City, Iowa.

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Tara (of Scruffylooking) is a mother and a lover of literature, and she lives in a city with a rich literary life.  Her bed has an Asian, Zen-like feel to it, a perfect place to meditate or read Dicken’s Great Expectations.

 

MR. FABULOUS’S BED

Mr. Fabulous’s bed is in Gainesville, Florida.

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Mr. Fabulous (of Pointless Drivel) is a brave man.  Not only was he recently fired because of his blog, he is the only man MAN enough to send me a photo of his bed.  Why do I have the feeling that Mr. Fabulous — and not Mrs. Fabulous — bought that dark blue comforter?

 

VISCOUNTESS OF FUNK’S BED

The Viscountess of Funk’s bed is in Seattle.

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The Viscountess (of Postcards From Somewhere) is a mother, a lawyer, and a writer of great imagination.  I also think her bed is large enough to fit my entire blogroll.

 

DEEZEE’S BED

Deezee’s bed is in Venice, California.

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Deezee (of Confessional Highway) is the coolest Mom ever.  She just took her son to see his first rock concert — the Red Hot Chili Peppers!  As you can see, Deezee is not afraid of showing herself in her bed, although she is clearly upstaged by her sleeping dog.

 

LATER ADDITIONS:

TWO ROADS’S BED

Two Roads’s bed is in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Two Roads (of Lindbergh’s Crossing) is from Atlanta and has some “Scarlett O’hara” in her, which means she frankly gives a damn about having a very nice bed  (I know it’s Rhett’s line, but I liked the way it sounded).

 

MARI’S BED

Mari’s bed is in the United Kingdom.

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Maria (of Argentine Babe)  is Argentine-born artist in the UK, who gets her best artistic ideas in bed while working with her assistant (shown).

 

CHARMING’S BED

Charming’s bed is in a Southern city.

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Charming (of Charming but Single) is a Southerner who likes both her drinks and her boys tall, but her bed nice and soft.

 

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