Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Due to Irresponsible Behavior

... I have been getting an average of about 5 hours of sleep a night.  Because of this, when I get home around 6pm, I invariably want to take a nap.  Last night I fought the urge, but ended up falling asleep around 9:30pm and waking up around midnight - it was by far one of the most unsettling feelings I've had in a while.  

This unsettling sensation was not due just to the awkward sleep cycle.  I had one of the most terrifying dreams of my life.  It's a day later, so I don't remember all the details as vividly as when I, not so much as woke up, but merely opened my eyes and realized I was in my room.  

The dream started out with me on some type of boat, which is always a bad sign, because for some reason ( I had no childhood traumatic experience with water or drowning ) I have a subconscious fear of being forced under water.  

No, actually, now that I am really thinking about it, I did.  I spent six summers at the JCC Summer Camp, and at least one day a week we went to this swimming pool on top of a neighboring building.  I couldn't have been older than seven, and this older boy (I don't think he was a counselor, just some random kid) kept pushing my head under the water and holding it there everytime I tried to swim to the side of the pool. I couldn't touch the bottom anywhere, so I was panicking and still he kept pushing me down wherever I went.  In the end one of the counselors came over and stopped him, but I can still feel the panic that engulfed me in those moments.  

Anyway, back to the dream.  I was in a boat, or maybe just in the sea, and there was this one massive tsunami wave.  I mean, so incredibly large that just the sight of it it absolutely terrifying.  I felt the undertow pull me up to the crest of the giant, and then i was flung off into this great hole that had been created by the pull of the wave, and then the wave crashed on top of me and crushed me.  

I didn't die, though.  The dream transitioned into a sort of college/camp type atmosphere, except there were parents there.  My mom had died in the sea, and I was going to her funeral.  At the end of the funeral, I left.  But then Kate found me and told me that I had accidentally left too early and my Dad had read a poem at the end.  I was immersed in guilt.  

The grief that consumed me during that dream was so realistic and haunting that when I woke up I had to call my mom (at midnight on a Tuesday night) to make sure that she was still alive.  

One of the most terrifying dreams I've ever had.  Hands down.  

So, basically.  I want to go home. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Drama on the Home Front

The IL Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested today on charges of corruption.  Are IL residents surprised?  They shouldn't be.  No matter how big of soft spot my family has for Richard Daley, we all still know IL politics are incredibly corrupt.  

What is it about the Governor's office that inspires corruption?  George Ryan, Rod... 

Anyway, these moments are at once both sad and hilarious.  Sad because, obviously, this just highlights the pathetic moral ground that politics stands on today.  The moral standard is an illusion - as long as you appear to be morally upright, you can get away with anything.  

But its hilarious because it shows the true nature of the specific politicians.  Even though Blagojevich wasn't necessarily the most articulate guy in a press conference, and did employ a bit of that "folksy charm", to hear him talking privately to his chief-of-staff and his wife about how he was going to sell the Senate seat, saying "fuck Obama", just shows how ridiculous it is to believe in what most politicians put out into the world.  Which brings us back to sad.  

Anyway, just a little news from home.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Library, 2:37 AM

It's an early night.  I'm getting ready to leave the library.  Happily, of course, but also with a twinge of nostalgia for those ridiculous nights last year that ended in sunrises and bagels with cracked-out friends.  

My friends are insomniacs.  I covet sleep, but I do love the honesty that comes out when its a little past 6AM and your friend is past out on top of the table and your other friend is taking pictures and your sleep deprived brain registers this as uncontrollably hilarious.  

I love the loss of control over your mind - ridiculous thoughts, utterances and acts.  

This is all incredibly unhealthy of course.  But having been weirdly responsible for once in my life, and completed my assignments in a healthy and timely manner, I miss the mad satisfaction one gets from staying up 'til sunrise immersed in Work.  The complete drainage of mind and body.  

I've never taken any so-called "work aids" here at school: Adderall, Concerta, etc. They are common place here, and I really don't have anything against them, I've just never indulged.  Once, during my senior year of High School I took 5 mm of Concerta with a friend to study for a Physics exam.  I highly doubt that it actually had any effect, aside from placebo.  I'm proud that I got through two conference weeks last year, and on my way to a third this year, without spending my money on friend's prescriptions.  I don't have any negative opinions of anybody else who has done this - the way these medicines are prescribed makes it easy to think that anybody could use them without fault - but I still love the knowledge that any work I have produced over the last year and half has come solely from my own force of will and mind power.  And that's not even to undermine anybody else's work!  It's just a nugget of satisfaction that I can take pride in.  

Now that I've said this of course, I'm probably going to start itching to try it.  That's the way of the addictive personality - and exactly the reason  I'm in Harm Reduction and not AA.  

But, I've strayed.  As the mind is likely to do at this time.  I love it.  


The other day I was reading random lit blogs online, and this guy had done this nifty thing.  He had published a list of every book he read during the year for the last three years.  

Now, this act can be seen as incredibly pompous, or conversely, incredibly honest and brave, depending on who you are, and what you have read.  

My personal list for this semester is pathetic.  I say that with the utmost certainty because I am in a theatre survey class which I have completed ZERO of the readings for.  It's a dry class, for sure, with not a lot of motivation to do the reading, but this is categorically pathetic even so.  I am comforted only by the fact that when our weekly reading quiz rolls around, there are more than a few pairs of eyes perusing neighboring papers.  

Moving on, I am going to change my ways.  I finished Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence over Thanksgiving Break, which I have been reading since the road trip to school my freshman year.  So, crossing that one off felt good - but again, pathetic.  It's a dense read, over 700 pages, but it shouldn't have taken me this long to finish.  

The problem is sheer laziness. I am not the fastest reader in the world, but it sure doesn't take me a year and some months to read 700 pages.   I love reading, and want broaden my literary knowledge - but in my downtime, I find myself so worn out that I end up just flipping on some TV show and zoning out.  I want to use my mind in better ways than I am at the moment.  I want to push forward instead of reclining back into this routine of getting through my school day and then collapsing.  

Because I do have passions, but I'm not pursuing them as whole-heartedly as I want to.  And my reading list for 2008 is pathetic.  

So, I'm making a list.  Starting right now.  Books that I've finished - starting with Sons and Lovers.  I'm not going to try and recall all the nonsense literature I've read over the past year.  I'll start 2009 early.  

Finished over T-Giving Break 2008:  Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
This is an amazing book.  I was completely dazzled by it.  Can't wait to read more D.H. Lawrence.