Time Stamp Tramp

A time stamp is a sequence of characters, denoting the date and/or time at which a certain event occurred. Your computer places this on your correspondence automatically and applications, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, do it as well, only you have to embrace a little math because their time stamps appear as time passed from the moment it was posted.

Your imagination wonders when you look at someone’s timestamp. Like when your kid goes to college and sends you an email at 3:45am asking to put more money in their flex dollars account. What’s up with that? Once those kids leave home, they may tell you nothing about their lives, but their time stamp will let you know that they’re up and doing who-knows-what. I’ve learned over the years to NOT GO THERE. Those kind of time stamps bring on ulcers.

If you’ve read some of my past blogs, you’ll note that my timestamp appears between the hours of five and six am EST. What does that say about me?

Mostly that I’m in the EXTENDED DAY program, also known as the LONG F**KING DAY program. I own that Morning Person moniker.

The best part about my early time stamps are the subsequent phone calls I get from peeps up late on the West Coast, “You’re still up?”, peeps in Europe “I could tell you were up by your post!” and my cherished, insomniac peeps in my time zone, “OMG, I can’t sleep, either”.

Sugar Babies At Bedtime

These are the kind of old snapshots that make the Throw-Back-Thursday posts worth a billion dollars.

Every picture tells a story and this one makes me laugh out loud because it is says so much about my Mom. In order to understand this photo, you have to understand the circumstances.

My Dad, may he rest in peace, was a Dentist. Candy was seldom seen in my house unless given on a special occasion. It was a rare treat. Never at bedtime because sugar would “stick to your teeth and rot your enamel”. In this photo, my brother and sister and I are freshly bathed, in our pajamas, tucked into my parents bed, watching their TV and eating SUGAR BABIES. This says one thing to me…

My Dad wasn’t home.

I can tell from our ages that my youngest brother was probably just about a couple of weeks old and down the hall in his bedroom, and…in all likelihood, wailing his ass off.

My Mom, who was a devoted candy worshiper, was most likely exhausted and probably needed us to behave, so I assume she raided her own stash and whipped out the big guns. Does that picture look like well behaved kids or not?

I am just so grateful that my Mom snapped this photo. It’s a rule breaker and an honest parenting gem.

Room Temperature

I’m hot, but not in the good way. Although not scientifically proven, I think it’s because of the extra weight that comes with middle age.

As much as I like to embrace the going green ethos, my mental health necessitates turning on the bedroom air conditioner in late April and letting it hum through October. That being said, bedroom windows also stay cracked in the winter. It’s my own twisted version of Save The Whales.

My husband is so dramatic. He came into the bedroom the other night dressed in a down jacket, wool hat and mittens.

“It’s so f**king cold in here”, he said.

Did I see vapors came out of his mouth? I have always had a high internal thermostat but lately, my hormones are going into overdrive and according to my husband, my core body temperature seems to be off the charts.

Well the easiest, non-medication way to fix that is to open the windows, but that only works if it’s cold enough outside. Come springtime, I’m dimming city blocks with my a/c.

It’s a known fact that a lower core body temperature initiates sleeping. Ask any insomniac. Covers on, covers off. Tossing and turning is your way of trying to adjust your internal thermostat.

I  love my cozy comforter, but I need a cold bedroom to fully enjoy it’s benefits. Sweating is for exercise, not for sleeping.

“It’s 50 f**king degrees in here”, mutters my husband.

I did a little research and discovered that the optimal sleeping temperature is between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures in this range, it seems, help facilitate the decrease in core body temperature.

I tried 68 and it wasn’t cold enough. Mr. Blue-lips and I are working on a compromise. Fingers crossed for 64.


As much as I believe that getting up super early in the morning is the best thing in the world, I would be doing a disservice to you by not highlighting a certain truth…


Early rising can have some drawbacks. Right about the time 4 pm rolls around,  I feel like a dog looking for a place to curl up and get cosy. Hmmm…somewhere quiet, but in pinch, even my desk chair will do. All I need is 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes…okay, maybe 8 minutes.

If I can’t find a spot, I somehow find a way to land on the doorstep of the nearest Dunkin Donuts. A medium size coffee usually gets me all perked up again, until about 9pm, where I instantly crash on the sofa in the family room– snoring– with reading material across my chest. It ain’t pretty. (My kids have frequently snap-chatted this event)

It took one of my sons, fresh out of a college Psychology class, to tell me about the benefits of re-charging your brain through napping. You may think it’s an activity for babies and old people, but the more I looked into it, the more I think it’s critical to keeping your brain fit.

Research highlights the benefits of three kinds of naps:

1) The 20-minute power nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills. You are also less likely to wake-up groggy.

2) The 30-60 minute nap is good for decision-making skills but you may feel slightly fuzzy upon rising.

3) The 60-90 minute nap plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems. Sounds good, but waking up from that sucker will have you chanting “Where the f**k am I?”

I’m all about making new brain connections, but seriously, when do you find the time to really take a nap? You don’t find it…You make it.

Lunch and a quickie anyone?

Not So Good In Bed

I recently sketched this pastel in the wee hours of one morning. A Self portrait, (complete with those ridiculous eyelashes), of how I start every day. Note the time, friends.

That’s me. Ms. Rise-and-F**ken Shine. Each year, I seem to sleep less and less. It’s easy to get anxious about it–especially when people warn you about the dangers of not enough rest, but what if my body just won’t cooperate?

The National Sleep Foundation’s: “When You Can’t Sleep: The ABCs of ZZZs”, is a worthy primer, so I’ve listed it below with some of my personal results:

Set a schedule:
Go to bed at a set time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Disrupting this schedule may lead to insomnia. “Sleeping in” on weekends also makes it harder to wake up early on Monday morning because it re-sets your sleep cycles for a later awakening.

My set time is 10pm, but what happens if you pass out at 8pm “sleeping in” the sofa? 

Try to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day. Daily exercise often helps people sleep, although a workout soon before bedtime may interfere with sleep. For maximum benefit, try to get your exercise about 5 to 6 hours before going to bed.

Tried this and NO EFFECT on sleep whatsoever. Daily exercise only increases my appetite.

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol:
Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps people awake. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain relievers. Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal. Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep.

I’m going to pretend that I didn’t read this one, #denial!

Relax before bed:
A warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine can make it easier to fall sleep. You can train yourself to associate certain restful activities with sleep and make them part of your bedtime ritual.

I can fall asleep…anywhere…that includes a bathtub, super dangerous.

Sleep until sunlight:
If possible, wake up with the sun, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight helps the body’s internal biological clock reset itself each day. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of morning sunlight for people having problems falling asleep.

I wake up before the sun. Maybe this isn’t my list?

Don’t lie in bed awake:
If you can’t get to sleep, don’t just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading, watching television, or listening to music, until you feel tired. The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep can actually contribute to insomnia.

Anxiety! That’s the magic word! I don’t lie in bed worrying about not sleeping…I worry about the odd mole with the hair coming out of it, my 21 year old going to Vegas, or if that organic lettuce I ate had e coli on it.

Control your room temperature:
Maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. Extreme temperatures may disrupt sleep or prevent you from falling asleep.

The colder, the better. Thank you, hormones.

The last pointer recommends to see a doctor if your sleeping problem continues. My husband’s solution to all of this is just to have more sex.

Well if that were true, it would be on the list, right?

“It’s a typo,” he says.