A Little Cat Music

In my never ending search for a good night’s sleep I’ve tried everything short of prescription drugs: Melatonin, teas to promote sleep, putting my phone away a couple of hours before bedtime, deep breathing exercises, and meditation. Nothing really works. Occasionally I’ll take a dose of a nighttime cold medicine, and sometimes that helps, but I don’t like doing it.

Often I’ll ask my Alexa to play relaxing music, but whoever programs such material must not understand that up tempo songs with abrupt changes in instrumentation do not foster relaxation. I’ll just about doze off only to have the mellow tones of a cello be replaced jarringly by a clang of cymbals. Note to Alexa–just because a piece is classical, doesn’t mean it’s soothing. I’m fairly sure nobody ever fell asleep to the strains of the Willam Tell Overture.

Finally, though, I believe I’ve found music that might do the trick. It happened quite by accident when on a whim I asked Alexa to play music for cats. I was trying to foster affection, or at least acceptance, between my two antagonistic felines. They both were hanging out in my bedroom, and I had the wild idea that perhaps music could help.

It was an instant hit, and now they expect me to play their music every morning. I’ll wander into the bedroom and find them snuggled into my beds with just a couple of cat lengths between them while a little cat music plays softly in the background. That’s a major improvement.

Last night Studly Doright was out of town. After going to bed I tossed and turned for an hour before wondering if the cat music could work for me, too. I asked Alexa to play it, and the underlying purring sounds set to low strings lulled me to sleep. Now, I woke up around 1 a.m., and again at 4, and had to repeat the process, but it seemed to work fairly well. This leads me to believe I might be a cat. Meow.

Here’s a sample from the album, Music for Cats by David Teie. It’s titled “Lolo’s Air.”

https://youtu.be/yDPHPYbM_K8

Peace, people.

Random Questions and Observations

  • I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Sunday afternoon. I’m still singing in my head.
  • Some people should not be allowed to drive. Yep, dude in the black Beemer tailgating my new car, I’m talking to you. #%?!*#%
  • I’m already tired of wrapping gifts, and I’m not even halfway done.
  • How can two seemingly identical bras, in the same size, from the same shop, fit so differently? #BuyersRemorse #RightBoobSquashed #BreathingNotOptional
  • Great football this past weekend. #HowAboutThemCowboys
  • My Apple Watch is something of a bully. I’ll get up when I damned well please! Okay, now is good.
  • I like bullet points.
  • Sometimes so-called “relaxation” music is anything but. Listen, if you want me to relax, don’t put any sudden changes in the track.
  • Bradley Cooper is hot.
  • If you’re still reading, you’ll know I really had nothing much to say today. Thanks for hanging in there.
  • I always wanted a tumbleweed Christmas tree.
  • There aren’t any tumbleweeds in Florida, as far as I know.
  • Jenna Bush Hagar seems like such a sweet young woman. #TodayShow
  • When I die, will someone take my ashes on a cross country train ride?
  • I’m not on the shortlist for Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Again.
  • Did I mention how much I loved Bohemian Rhapsody? And bullet points?

What’s in Baltimore?

Last night was both a hit and a miss in the sleep department. I initially fell asleep quickly, but awakened approximately an hour later, eyes wide open, thoughts swirling like frantic snowflakes in a blizzard. I read a while until those flakes blanketed the ground of my mind and I was able to doze off again. I repeated the pattern to some extent all night long. Some sleep periods were longer, others shorter. I did dream, though, which is always a good sign.

In the one dream I can recall I had been working in some distant city and was trying to return home to Baltimore, Maryland, via train. I was so sleepy in the train station that I couldn’t stand in the ticket line without dozing off. When I finally managed to speak to a ticket agent I couldn’t remember my address in Baltimore, so she sent me to the back of the line until I could.

Now, I’ve been to Baltimore. I once worked for a company that was based there, and my initial two weeks with the company were spent in the suburb of Towson. But I live in Florida. I’m not sure why my brain thought I needed to go home to Baltimore.

I did finally get on the train in my dream, where I sat next to a man who’d been a social worker before retiring to paint landscapes. I told him I’d come “this close” to being a social worker–a blatant lie–but that I’d chosen a career as a teacher instead. I also told him I could paint. Another lie.

“It will all be clear when we get to Baltimore,” I told him solemnly, before waking up.

Since I have no plans to visit Baltimore any time soon, I suppose things will stay muddy. As usual.

Peace, people.

Wrapping

Amazon deliveries became a daily occurrence at Doright Manor last week. As boxes were placed on our front porch I’d place them on the floor in Studly Doright’s home office, a.k.a., “The Place Where Paperwork Goes to Languish.”

Today I decided to wade through the small mountain of boxes, open, and divide them according to their intended recipient, and then wrap them for placement beneath our little tree. As I type this I’m taking a well deserved break while sipping on my decaf coffee and surveying the stacks of unwrapped gifts grouped by person.

Some gifts were sent directly to family members from Amazon because we won’t get to see them this year. That’s kind of breaking my heart, but I’m trying to let it go. Some times I even succeed. Other times I just cry. It changes from moment to moment. So, I’m going to wrap the gifts I can and hope that helps.

Peace, people.

Snow Person Humor

Studly Doright and I live in the Florida panhandle where it seldom snows, and when it does we receive only a light dusting that disappears almost as soon as it hits the ground. We haven’t always lived here, though. For three years we lived in North Dakota, a place that sees more than its fair share of snow starting in October. And once the snow falls it’s there until early spring. So, while I love the thought of snow, I never want to live in a place that gets more than a few centimeters in a decade. I’m quite happy enjoying snow from afar.

Lately my Facebook feed has been inundated with snowman and woman humor. I figured that’s a good way to appreciate snow, right? All the cuteness without the cold.

Here are some of my favorites. Some of them really resonate.

Okay. I’ve had my fill of snow for the year. No fuss, no muss, and no shoveling.

Peace, People.

Two by Two

Today was a day of weird almost-twin sightings. I encountered the first pair early this morning. Sitting in the drive-through lane after ordering a latte at the Starbucks on Magnolia in Tallahassee I saw two men, corporate types, both wearing dark plaid suit jackets. The plaids were subdued, but as I observed the men walking side by side across the parking lot, the almost matching patterns caught my eye. I wondered if they’d called each other before dressing, so similar was their garb.

Then driving home from Tallahassee to Doright Manor I noted two dark haired young men, probably in their late teens or early twenties, sitting just off the side of the road. They appeared to be fishing, but with sticks for poles. And neither was wearing a shirt. Normally that wouldn’t be noteworthy, but it was only about 40°F outside. Brrrr. This time I wondered if they’d called each other to find out what they WEREN’T wearing.

(These are definitely not the shirtless guys I saw.)

Further down the road, between Midway and Quincy, I had to slow down to avoid hitting a pair of men crossing the road while wearing identical vests. Okay, so the vests were bright orange, and the men were part of a road crew. I’m pretty sure they just knew what the other one was wearing to work this morning. No phone call necessary.

Weird stuff, am I right? Wish I’d seen these guys. That would’ve been epic.

Peace, people.

When You Rhyme in Your Sleep

Such a poor rhymer,

A nickel and dimer,

A shell without primer,

Rusting away.

Throw out the words, son

Steer away from the bad pun

Avoid the over done

This ain’t child’s play

Can’t help but dream

In a metronomic scheme

Nothing’s easy as it seems

These visions never stay.

(Michael Cheval is the artist featured in this post.)

I woke up (at 2:37 a.m) with the first stanza rolling around in my head. I told myself if it stuck around, I’d write it down. Almost wish it hadn’t.

Peace, people.

Cold Enough

Huddled under cardboard,

Old Annie shivers.

Surrounded by layers of rags and bags,

Scavenged bits hoarded against the cold,

Shoved into cracks, or

Worn as a layered mantle

No room open for her tonight

No place to warm her tired bones

They say it’s not cold enough.

Twelve degrees.

The winds howl,

Sweeping down these city streets

Stirring up ghosts of every December

Those souls who couldn’t be saved

No place to warm their bones

No room opened for them

Someone said it’s not cold enough.

Monday, Monday

For a semi-retired person, Mondays are almost indistinguishable from any other day of the week. If it weren’t for Studly Doright, whose own retirement is still a few years away, I’d have no reason at all to mark the first day of the work week as any different from the rest.

We experienced thunderstorms all weekend, even had a tornado touch down nearby, and today’s weather looks to be more of the same. It’s a bit on the gloomy side, but I have nothing on my agenda other than laundry. I picture a day spent sipping tea between trips to and from the laundry room.

Mondays are great for reflecting on the weekend, and in spite of the rain I kept fairly busy. Friday night I attended a concert with friends. On Saturday I decorated the house for Christmas while Studly played nine holes of golf. The rain prevented a full round for his group. We lazed about all afternoon then went for dinner at a Japanese steak house.

I tweaked my back somehow on Saturday, perhaps while fetching Christmas decorations from the hall closet, or hefting tepanyaki shrimp with my chopsticks, and awakened with back spasms Sunday morning. I didn’t let the spasms keep me from attending a holiday-themed lunch with members of my favorite Meetup group, though. We had a fun gift exchange and made plans for a happy hour get together in a couple of weeks.

Then Studly took me to see the newest film iteration of “Robin Hood” on Sunday afternoon. It was an odd take on the familiar tale–kind of a poorly executed mashup of the Heath Ledger film, “A Knight’s Tale,” with elements of Batman and Indiana Jones thrown in for good measure. It bothered me that the costumes didn’t appear even slightly appropriate for the time period. I thought the movie was a waste of money, but Studly liked it.

A heat pack and ibuprofen helped me sleep well last night, and I think the worst of the back pain is behind me. Take that any way you want. I’m going to get up soon to shower. Then I’ll fill the tea kettle, and sort the laundry. But for now, the cats are snuggled around me, and I’m going to revel in not caring that it’s Monday.

Peace, people.