Tag Archives: Beauty Sleep

Christmas Changes

Depending on the age of your little dudes, Christmas is a vastly different experience.

In general, the younger the little dudette, the earlier you get to awaken on Christmas morning. I used to be able to count on no more than six hours of sleep between Christmas Eve and Morning, if I was a very lucky dude, mostly because I had to stay up a little later to make sure and “help” Santa distribute presents and stuff stockings.

In the mornings, we’d hear the pounding of little feet racing back and forth in the hallway upstairs and one little dude ran to the bedroom of the next little dude, who ran to the next. And then they all tried to sneak downstairs with the subtlety of a meth-crazed elephant putting out flaming ducks*.

As they get older, things. . . change.

Since the youngest little dude now is 14, an official teenager, we’re not faced with such appallingly early wake-up times most days. In fact, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Beauty Sleep If I Know What’s Good For Me, and I were able to get up on our own around 8 in the morning, walk the dog and still sit down to share a bit of that instant Christmas classic: Breaking Bad. (Because nothing says Christmas like the story of a milquetoast chemistry professor turning into an ego-crazed, blood-soaked methamphetamine dealer with delusions of grandeur.)

Instead of racing down the stairs, the young dudes stumbled downstairs, slowly, peering around with sleep-clogged eyes, running hands through tousled hair and croaking through coma mouth in a ritualistic, “Ugh. mumblemumble-orning mumblemumble.”

I won’t say the young dudes actually took their time opening presents, letting each person go in turn, remarking on the wonderful way Aunt Someone took the time to pick out just the right shade of puce for the sweater she knitted each of them. Still, there were occasional pauses in there that didn’t come from them accidentally inhaling a floating piece of impromptu confetti drifting through the air.

Christmas coming right before the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, offers the perfect time for reflection, for considering how things have changed. I’m not one to focus on the past, to talk about how things were always better when I was younger, or when the young dudes were, in fact, young, but it is interesting to see how they have adapted to the passing years.

It’s taking these moments of reflection that enable parents to come to terms with the fact that, while they’re horrifyingly impersonal as gifts, teenagers really do want gift cards so they can get exactly what they want for themselves. I wish it weren’t the case, but there it is.

Time, as is its wont, passes. The black pencil writes and, having writ, passes on. Stuff happens.

And you will not be able to stop it, so you’d better find a way to enjoy it. The sooner the better, dudes. The sooner the better.


*Why do ducks have flat feet? To stamp out forest fires.
Why do elephants have flat feet? To stamp out flaming ducks.

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Blood Tales: Ball Of Confusion

by Richard

The first thing I remember is crawling around on the floor, bumping my head into things, and having absolutely no idea where I was or what I was doing. I felt dizzy, almost like the ship was trying to capsize and it was all I could do to stay upright. And that was on all fours.

Eventually I made it back to bed and collapsed, exhausted, and immediately fell into a deep sleep. Only to awaken a few hours later in the pre-dawn hours of Friday April 21, having to pee yet again. I remember getting up and heading for the tiny bathroom in our cabin and then, once again, there I was, crawling around on the floor with no idea how I got there.

This time, though, my fumblings on the floor managed to awaken my wife, known to me as She Who Must Ger Her Beauty Sleep Or She Gets Quite Cross. She demanded to know what the hell I thought I was doing. I had no answer. I could only crawl back into bed and, again, sleep.

When the morning broke and we eventually woke up, I still felt like complete and utter horribleness wrapped in a cute, black bow of yuck. So, no, I wasn’t feeling all that good. I mentioned that I thought I’d managed to pass out when I went to the bathroom twice during the night.

She was not amused. She thought it was my fault because, the day before, Sarcasmo and I had tried out some barbecued jerk chicken from a roadside stand in the Grand Caymans. She figured I’d picked up some food-borne illness. Once she got into the bathroom, though, she became a fraction less angry when she saw what had happened.

Apparently, when I passed out one time, I must have been sitting on the toilet. Because I managed to fall forward and — using my face — broke a half-moon shaped section out of the bathroom counter. Seriously. I am in no way exaggerating here. I remodeled the bathroom with my face. Oddly, there was no pain.

I just felt sheepish, thinking I really had picked up something from eating that roadside food the day before. The only problem with that diagnosis was that I didn’t feel sick — no upset stomach — and Sarcasmo had no symptoms at all. I just felt incredibly, crushingly tired. Sarcasmo was fine.

We were docked in the port of Cozumel, Mexico. Sarcasmo, Zippy the Monkey Boy and I had paid for an excursion of powered snorkeling, but we decided to cancel that and just let me rest. So off they went to explore the tourist traps of Cozumel. I stayed in bed, alternately shivering from the freezing cold and then sweating from the heat.

I was doing all right, relatively speaking, until I had to get up out of bed. That, dudes, is when things went downhill.

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