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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

For In That Sleep What Farts Might Come

While it has been a great week for media publicity for my writing, (yesterday morning was a great mother and son bonding as I called her and listened to my on air CIGM interview over the phone) this hasn’t been a good week for sleep so far.

First, we spent the weekend at my Mom’s in Levack, which was fun -- but we usually stay in the basement “apartment” that used to be my Baba’s main living area, with Alexander’s playpen set up in the living room and Fran and I in Baba’s bed in the next room. It’s a cozy place that allows us some quiet and privacy. But then there’s Baba’s bed.

Baba’s bed boasts a 65 year old mattress and box spring. I’m not kidding. I know that they used to make things better and longer lasting than they do today, but that’s taking it to the extreme, I think, because she still refuses to let us buy her a new bed or at least new mattress. To call the mattress uncomfortable or hard would be an exercise in understatement. The first time I slept on that mattress I remember looking for one of those “George Washington slept here” signs in the room. This last weekend, Francine asked me to start checking for one that said “Fred Flintstone slept here” (not just because of the age of the mattress of course, but also the pun involving “Bedrock”) -- the bed also has this foot board that only sticks up about an inch and a half from the granite mattress -- just enough so that it digs into my ankles. Sleep and Baba’s bed don’t mix too well.

I think I made things worse when my buddy Steve (also from Levack - he was visiting his folks) showed up around 8:00 PM or so on Sunday night. Six hours later, the remainder of a 24 of beer and half of a bottle of rye behind us, we called it a night. Good times (and yes, since I'm quoting my buddy Mathew I should mention that I even called him on Google Talk at the beginning of the drunk-fest - not nearly as exciting for him as his 911 call that night, though) Crawling into bed at 2:30 knowing that we’d be up early the next morning preparing for our drive back home wasn’t one of my smarter moves.

The drive the next day was one of the longer ones we've had on long weekends. It took us 9.5 hours to do what's normally a 5 to 6 hour drive. That's long-weekend traffic through cottage country for you. The worst part, besides Barrie, where Highway 69 and 11 merge, is where a stretch of road south of Parry Sound in which the divided highway cuts down to a two lane highway for about 15 kilometres. Prior to this merger, the traffic stopped and slowly crawled along -- it took us 2 hours to go about 8 kilometres. I did my best not to get frustrated, though, thinking about stories overheard from friends about the mass exodus near New Orleans and Texas these past couple of months in which it took upwards of 12 hours to go 10 miles. On the tail end of the Canadian Thanksgiving, despite the traffic snarl, that was one more thing I was Thankful for -- that I was travelling for pleasure, not fleeing my home and mass devastation.

I knew that it was going to be a busy week at work. We're about to engage in what we call our "Christmas Freeze" - it's a time in which the IT department doesn't roll any changes into our production environment beyond October 15th. The idea, since we're a retailer, is not to insert any undue risk into the systems that our stores depend on during the most active time of year for the retail environment. This past month has been nuts at work due to pre-freeze deadlines and commitments, and this final week is no exception.

Combine that with the fact that it's my turn to be on 24/7 call via our team's support cell phone for the week, and you get a very tired boy. I know that that 2 AM call this morning that kept me from falling back asleep for close to two hours is just the beginning of a fun week of sleep interuption and deprivation. I'm still convinced that the whole thing is a twisted experiment and I'm looking around for the hidden cameras and cautiously waiting for when the doctor's in lab coats reveal themselves or perhaps when the film crew and Allen Funt jump out and say "Smile, you're on Candid Camera"

I have a million meetings and demos to sit through this week at work. I'm thinking of trying to get an IV line from the coffee machine hooked up to my arm so I don't fall asleep during those half-day demos, and, like many of the GO-train commuters I share space with, end up snoring or farting. Although, either of those might wake me, and the rest of my colleagues up.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

This sounds like a serious situation, which calls for serious stimulants! Break out the chocolate covered coffee beans!

good luck Mark!

K