Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Sleep and I don't get along. Never have. As far back as I can remember - even at four and five years old - I would lie awake for what seemed like ages waiting to fall asleep, and once asleep I would wake up half-a-dozen times a night.

When I was on Paroxetine the first time, I actually began to sleep reliably at night. Unfortunately the longer I was on it, the less dramatic the effect seemed to be. However, some of the differences in my mental habits at bedtime made me start thinking about how I go about falling asleep.

I'm beginning to wonder if I have such trouble with sleep because I don't think I deserve it. My habit, since I was pretty little - maybe seven or eight years old - has been to imagine stories as I'm falling asleep. Generally those stories involved me being asleep, and the circumstances that led to it. What I'm beginning to notice is that the themes of those stories, even from the very beginning, seem to revolve around sleeping because I've worked so hard, been so injured, or exhausted myself so much, that I literally have no choice but to fall asleep. Like I don't have the right to a good night's sleep unless I've saved the world single-handedly that day. Certainly not when there's a sinkload of dishes waiting for me. Of course to the younger me, the idea that without a decent night's sleep, I wouldn't be likely to feel like catching up the dishes in the morning, didn't really occur to me. It's occuring to me now, though, and I'm wondering just how much effort it will take to change my mental narrative. Can I find a way of getting to sleep at night that doesn't involve beating myself up for not being superhuman every day? That doesn't feed the next night's insomnia even more?

I don't know if it will "fix" my insomnia. After all I didn't start with the story-telling until after insomnia was well established. But it might be worth doing in it's own right - after all, who needs to be beating themselves up every night?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Very Cool

A conversation with my parents today reminded me of a man from my first ever writers' group. He would bring chapters in of his book, The Resurrection Tree, for reading. They were invariably thought provoking and well written, and I remember hoping that it would make it into print so I could read the whole thing.

Well it did. I went and looked it up on Amazon, and voila - The Resurrection Tree.

It goes on my wish list immediately, and the next time I make a book order, it's coming home. Congratulations, Charles!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Some People

I just found out that one of the few people on the planet I truly don't like, is married to a woman I have great admiration for.

And I really have to wonder why.

It's not so much a matter of "What does she see in him?" I deal with that all the time myself with S. To a lot of people on the outside, our relationship seems to look pretty weird. I'm pretty well aware that someone can have redeeming qualities in a relationship that aren't apparent from the outside. It's more a matter of respect. As in, he seems to have no respect whatsoever for her - so why are they married? I know both of them on-line only. I knew she was married, even though I knew nothing whatsoever about her husband. I not only didn't know he was married, I was certain he wasn't. His attitude toward women is very much "Whee! Polygamy! Pretty ladies!" in on-line interactions, in a way that seems very adolescent - and clueless, sexist adolescent at that. Top that off with someone who's angry at the world, and rigid in his views on others acceptable behavior, and you have a thoroughly unpleasant person, and one I think likely to be dangerous in a relationship. Not necessarily physically, but certainly emotionally. Also the type of person likely to be vengeful if he views himself as wronged.

He may well act differently toward her in person. I hope to God he does. But to me the behavior he exibits to others is a big red flag. The man who disrespects every woman but you, will one day come to disrespect you as a woman.

I'm keeping my mouth shut, other than the minor rant here, because it's their marriage, not mine. But I'll be hoping and praying that he gets a clue before she gets hurt. Worse than just the fallout of his thoughtless, antagonistic behavior, which she is already suffering.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Invisible Inaccessibility

As I've been spending this week trying to find a suitable venue for a party with at least two guests in wheelchairs, and it is (or at least was a few hours ago) Blog Against Disabalism Day, I thought it appropriate to write about the frustrations involved.

The party in question is a wedding shower for my friend A. Since I live out-of-state, I need to find a restaurant or similar place in A's hometown where we can go have her party. The alternative would be to hold it in her apartment. The latter would guarantee accessibility, but would put at least 75% of the shower work on the bride, which doesn't seem like a good option. So I've been talking to various places, trying to find someplace that can accomodate a couple dozen people, of whom two will be in wheelchairs.

Seems simple, doesn't it? Just call a few places up and ask about their accessibility, right?

It doesn't work that way. Those of you who use wheelchairs regularly are undoubtedly familiar with the phenomenon - most places that call themselves "accessible" are at best, barely tolerable. The handicapped bathroom may be accessed by a door in a blocked corner that no wheelchair could get around. The level entrance may be on a block with no curb cuts whatsoever. The restaurant with the wide doors, may have tables placed so closely together that Mario Andretti couldn't drive a wheelchair through the maze. Yet all of these will be called "Handicapped Accessible", and their employees will be cheerfully oblivious to their failings. No place can be truly trusted to be accessible, regardless of what they say, unless someone who knows what they're looking for has been there, on the ground, looking.

I talked to one place about their accessibility. Their events coordinator had no idea what I was getting at. They had the accessible sticker, didn't they? What was I concerned about?

"Can you get from the nearest parking lot to your building easily?" I asked. She wasn't sure. She thought so...yes, the parking lot in the basement had an elevator. When asked about clearence for a tall wheelchair van, she had no idea. Curb cuts on the block? No idea. Accessible meant that their doorways were wide, and they had rails in the bathroom as far as she knew.

Fortunately for my peace of mind, her restaurant is not where I ended up booking us. That honor went to a different place. When I was talking to their manager, I brought up the accessibility question, expecting the same waffling as always. Instead he asked me a question in return "What kind of wheelchairs will there be?" he asked. "The different chairs can have different footprints, and I want to make sure I leave enough turning room."

I think I'm in love. Or possibly in heaven. After weeks of calling and asking, I can actually book the wedding shower someplace where I can have some confidence that the bride can get to her own shower.

Now if only she didn't have to deal with this kind of crap every day of the week, and twice on Sundays, I'd be a happy woman.