It’s the goddamn future! We were expecting a lot of cool things, but all I ever hear is where are our jetpacks and where are the hoverboards? Well I want some other stuff, I have no intention of flying around. I want things that make life actually easier! I want my instant gratification to be more than instant! Struggling and hard work should be part of the tedious, awful past! We have things to do that we would rather have finished long ago. Chores are antiquated. Effort is so old-fashioned.

now!

Let’s get down to business. And by that I mean you should start a business and please make these for me.

 

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Hello my sneer friends. Recently I went through an eye-opening and scary time, and I wanted to share some of my experience with you. My hope is that anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation will be prepared if this ever happens to them.

I’d been watching the Gordon Ramsey-led reality television show “Hotel Hell.” The sound of an Englishman yelling at people for keeping a refrigerator full of beetles or for making a placenta mural in the foyer really brings me down and gets me to a place where I’m ready to sleep at night. Sometimes in my dreams Gordon is riding a giant horse, and he trots up to the field where I take my picnics, and he showers me with warm beef wellingtons. The crust hits my cheeks with an audible crunch and I beam with pride at my famous man pastry cow circles.

Then it happened. One night, unable to quite make my way through an episode, I paused the show, to continue later.

aaaa

A startling visage now lay before me – I knew it was human but there was something wrong – a feeling deep in my spine, a tingle in my feet and a sense of dread rolled through me all at once. If this frame of the show really belonged here, what could possibly happen next?

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I love sleep but I often feel like I do not get enough, and I don’t really have any experience with successfully falling asleep with any regularity unless I am exhausted. However, I have little tricks to help me get in the mood for sleep. Often, these tricks involve YouTube or Netflix.

zzz

Once upon a time, I could not sleep if the television or radio were on, because I’d want to pay attention to it, whatever it was. But along the way, I have discovered a few shows that I have seen so often, or have been watching when I was already exhausted often enough that I have made a mental link between the two, that I am lulled into snoozeland within an hour.

There are a few television shows with live actors that I can sleep to, sometimes against all odds, such as Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I can let that play on Netflix for days and be soothed, despite the fact that they never stop screaming or being unbelievably hostile. But I find that what really does the trick are animated shows. It isn’t that I am returned to an age where I could sleep easily, because these are all shows I have watched in adulthood, mostly. Nevertheless, they possess a quality, each one of them, that guides me to where I want to be. Maybe they can do the same for you? Plenty can be found in YouTube in full, but in some cases, you’re going to have to find them yourself. Good luck.

 

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We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

FACE IT

Forever, as far back as I can remember, maybe as soon as I was self aware enough to realize that I have a reflection in the mirror, I have had this notion that how we look can change with our thoughts. Like expressing emotions, only a lot more than that. After a few years, my notion became more of a crackpot theory as I started to think that maybe our faces are a projection of our inner thoughts to the point that if we just concentrated, we would be unrecognizable even to people who know us very well. I thought this would be very handy if I ever needed to disguise myself and secretly worked towards achieving this skill, this skill that probably can’t actually exist but I’m never going to get all that time back, am I!

One of the negative side effects of getting myself to believe in this idea is that, as a result, I have never been comfortable with the idea of sleeping near anyone. At slumber parties, I would stay up the entire night not for fear of pranks, but because I didn’t want anyone to see me being asleep. At home, I wanted a locked door to my bedroom so that the only things creeping in to watch me sleep were monsters and Mirror Amanda. I can’t snooze in cars, and to sleep on public transit is laughable in that nervous, unfunny laugh kind of way. Even living with boyfriends, I will usually face away from them, sleep with my head covered up with a blanket or pillow, have my face buried in my arms, or at the very least, feel this sense of horror when I wake up to find that my face was visible.

What do I think will happen when I’m asleep? Do I think I’m actually a monster? Do I think that my face will become a blank, expressionless, actual mask? I really don’t know! I refuse to think about it any more than this.

Sleep doesn’t really come to me easily. I am regularly snubbed by the Sandman, and I have been for many, many years now. I’ve tried a lot of different methods to promote a peaceful slumber, regular sleep patterns, or even just a block of snoozing that winds up being semi-restful. Some things work for a while, but apparently my unconscious mind hates routine as much as my awake mind does, because it eventually gets bored and rejects it. Boo hoo all I want is to sleep!

This is all I ever want!

However, over the past few months, I have discovered the joys of hours-long YouTube videos with ambient sounds! It actually worked for me to drift off while listening to ten hours of rainfall, eleven hours of rushing stream, or twelve hours of ocean sounds. When I realized that hours of moving-water noises might actually mess with my sleeping bladder, I tried nifty things like eight hours of forest and six hours of English countryside and dear lord even eight hours of a cat purring. Those sunny ones were both good for having that midday nap feeling and the cat one somehow begins to massage the center of your brain… I have even dozed happily to twelve hours of ambient engine noise from a Star Trek ship, even though I do not really ever watch that show!

Tibetan bowls, lakes, white noise, the sounds of busy restaurants, and binaural theta waves – there are so many excellent videos on here just to make our lives more restful. Thousands of hours just sitting there, waiting for you to discover and test out. But, there are some that just don’t do it right. The first couple of times were accidental, but I immediately noticed that they affected me as I slept. I’ve gone and tested a few in the name of SCIENCE and I’ve come out a changed person – a more cautious person. I am here to tell you to not do these things. Do not do as I have done.

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