Mr. wOw’s Sleepy, Movie Mad, Book-Reading Holiday – And Zebras, Too

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Thanksgiving Therapy With Turkey

“How do people get to sleep? I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly on the temple with the nightlight.”

That was Dorothy Parker, commenting on what becomes increasingly elusive as one grows older – slumber. At least Mr. wOw has found it so. I’ve been taking sleeping pills for years, to only so-so results. When my stress level is especially high, not even the pills work. And unlike Patty Duke in “Valley of the Dolls,” I don’t mix them with liquor so they’ll “work faster!”

Recently a number of people have commented to me, “How are you? You look a little tired.” Hmmm … when somebody tells you that you “look tired,” check your pulse. Yes, you look that bad.

But I wasn’t aware of how stressed out and sleep deprived I was until the recent Thanksgiving holiday. It was a veritable orgy of sleeping, napping, dozing off. Of course, I roused myself to eat B.’s wonderful feast. But he had to wake me to remind me it was, after all, Thanksgiving. (I had been more or less unconscious since Wednesday evening.) I ate in a slight coma and then vanished upstairs to continue sleeping. My dreams were powerfully vivid and strange. But I love to dream. I know Edgar Allen Poe called sleep “a little slice of death,” and perhaps it is. But it’s death with bonuses.

On Friday, I was only slightly more alert. I picked up the new biography of Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff and dove into that. I also watched “Niagara” with Marilyn Monroe. MM’s only bad girl role captivated me as usual – and made me ponder the direction of her career had she lost out on “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Ms. Schiff’s take on Cleopatra is captivating, as well. But I was reading and watching in a prone position. I didn’t feel I had the strength to sit up properly. My languid pose encouraged me to keep falling into those sometimes irritating, sometimes fascinating half-sleeps. With the TV on, your dreams become really interesting. (Why was MM trying to kill me?!) So, I’d read a chapter or two of Cleo and kind of pass out, awaken, channel surf … Was I up to a “Nanny” marathon or an insane History Channel block of programming on “Ancient Aliens”? I decided they were both pretty much the same show.

More reading. Miss Cleo was something else! I managed to finish the book, wondering who the hell could do it justice if indeed Schiff’s book is optioned for the movies. As much as I adored Miss Claudette Colbert, Miss Vivien Leigh, and Miss La Liz, they were paper tigresses compared to the real woman. (Nix on Jolie. As with Taylor, it is impossible to separate her from her public image, and at 36, she is now nearly as old as Cleo was at the time of her death.) I also went through a lot of back issues of GQ that had piled up. I really do need a new wardrobe! And a raise to finance it.

Saturday I woke early, but not for long. I made coffee, a huge scrambled egg thing – with cheese, natch – went back upstairs, and fell into another dramatic bout of deep, though not dreamless sleep. I must say, I have a terrifically interesting life in dreamland. I love the way people morph. I’m dreaming about my boss, B., or a friend, but it doesn’t look like them at all. Who are these imposters?

I was alert enough, at some point, to see a lot of Ava Gardner movies on TCM. Yikes, what beauty! Among the films was 1967′s “Mayerling” with Ava as Empress Elizabeth of Austria, circa the late 19th century. It’s not very good, but Ava drifts in and out as Omar Sharif’s mother (with maybe a ten year difference in age), looking fantastic and delivering one of my favorite passages in a film. Talking to a rather pudding-faced Catherine Deneuve, Ava, a restless and discounted royal, whispers: “Listen. Wait. There it is. A spoon dropping, a servant laughing. One is never really alone, and yet one is quite, quite alone.” Kate Middleton, are you listening?

I began another book, one by Sinclair Lewis that I’d not even known about. (I’m a great admirer of Lewis. It began with my childhood adoration of the screen version of Dodsworth, which prompted me to read the book – then Main Street and Babbit.) This is It Can’t Happen Here, about how a fascist society/president/government could rise to save the country from liberals. It was written in 1935, just as Hitler was taking hold in Europe. B. passed it on to me, saying, “You’ll recognize certain people.” I’m only about 15 pages in.

By now, I was feeling much more alert, even if I continued to recline like an Egyptian. I got caught up in a CNN special about the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. It rushed me right back to 1974/75 when the pre-Internet, pre 24-hour cable news world was gripped by this story. I remembered so well arguing Patty’s case as she transformed herself, incredibly, into gun-toting Tania. Clearly, something terrible had happened to her! She’d been kidnapped, dragged screaming from her college dorm. There were real conversations back then, even if they became heated. Watching that, I felt I had the power to rise. But … only as far as my computer.

I found out then about Obama’s busted lip. I went to the Fox News website to see how they covered it. The reportage was fine (better than posting a satire from The Onion and passing it off as a real story, anyway!), but the comments from Fox fans were disheartening in their viciousness. Then again, so were the comments on The Huffington Post, regarding the story about a gonorrhea epidemic in Alaska. Ugly remarks about the Palin family abounded. I think the join-hands-and-sing-”Kumbaya” train left the station and went right off a cliff a long time ago.

Okay. No more Internet! I went back to channel-surfing “Golden Girls” and “Murder She Wrote” (which I abandoned because I could not abide the giant Hallmark logo on the right side of the screen, nor the even bigger coming attraction logo on the right, shaped like a Christmas ornament; Jessica Fletcher often appeared to be wearing an uncharacteristically tacky brooch, snatched off Mr. wOw’s tree). I went to Turner Classic Movies, where I watched, well into the a.m., three great big juicy musicals – two of them much overrated, one unfairly maligned and, in fact, splendid. I do mean, in that order, Judy Garland’s “A Star Is Born,” Barbra Streisand’s “Funny Girl,” and the Roz Russell/Natalie Wood/Karl Malden version of “Gypsy.”

Now, I love Miss G. and greatly admire Miss S., but these two famous films do not, despite what legend insists, show them at their best. Garland is physically ravaged and far too mature and neurotically intense to play the little singer who loves an abusive, fading movie star (James Mason, to whom the film really belongs). The movie still looks great; but George Cukor’s direction of Judy was all wrong, and the film goes on for hours and hours. And hours. I suppose Judy should have won the Oscar for her already-legendary career and brilliant bits offered here and there in “Star.” But … it does not hold up.

As for “Funny Girl,” it exists to showcase Streisand in the role she perfected on stage. Her voice is exquisite, but she really cannot act at this point. Her dramatic scenes are hilarious. She is photographed like a goddess (despite the fact she is supposed to be plain), but William Wyler’s direction and editing is erratic. And this one, too, goes on way too long. I still don’t regret seeing it six times in original release or memorizing the movie soundtrack, which I can still do (won’t say “sing”). It was Barbra’s confidence that was so extraordinary. She did not deserve an Oscar in tandem with Katharine Hepburn.

“Gypsy”? Great from start to finish. A better score than either “Star” or “Funny.” Roz Russell is terrific as Mama Rose. So what if Lisa Kirk dubbed part of her singing, or if Rose is really Auntie Mame in vaudeville? Russell is electrifying. (Let’s not get into Rose’s originator, Ethel Merman. The Merm was boffo on Broadway. Movie producers hadn’t made a dime off her, despite numerous efforts. It’s dollars and cents, not sentiment, in Hollywood.) Natalie Wood remains the quintessential Gypsy to me. She is perfect in every aspect of this role. And nobody has ever played the final Rose-Gypsy confrontation better than the ravishing Miss Wood. Also – the three strippers who bump and grind out “Gotta Get a Gimmick” were never surpassed in any version Mr. Wow has seen onstage – and he’s seen every production except Merman’s. Anyway, “Gypsy” needs re-evaluation. The other two will go on being adored by fans of Garland and Streisand – fans who, I think, really know better.

Finally, Mr. wOw always has to have some sort of big emotional moment during a siege like this – something in his reading or watching (or sleeping!) that opens the floodgates. It came to me during an episode of the nature series “Great Migrations.” Of the three migrations shown during this hour, one was a tale of zebras crossing from lush Botswana into a dry desert land. It focused on one “family” and its tribulations. The climax arrived when a female zebra died. Her foal, still nursing, is distraught and will not leave the body and travel with the rest of herd. This includes the foal’s father and rest of his “harem.” The father uncharacteristically allows his tribe, including his “women,” to go ahead. He stays near his son, and for hours attempts to lead him away. Ultimately, a horde of vultures descends on the fallen mother, and father and son flee. But they have lost the rest of the family. Still, as the episode ended, they were shown trotting along together, bonded. As the last “sponsored by Honda” commercial faded, Mr. wOw was a wreck. I sobbed into my pillow ridiculously. Zebras! What was this all about? I never cared a whit about my father, whom I never knew, nor did he care about me.

Okay. Maybe some of that is finally surfacing. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for zebras.

In any case, today is Sunday. I have just watched John McCain talk about how the Marines have to feel “safe,” and naturally they can’t with any known homos around. What a pathetic excuse for a man is Mr. McCain. Oh, and here come the WikiLeaks. I’m sorry. I don’t approve. Sigh! Oh, well. Back to the real world of assholes. That’s really something to cry about!

And back to work tomorrow (today, actually, for those reading). I’m feeling almost anticipatory. It’ll be a while before anybody tells me I look “tired.” Well, at least until Wednesday.

52 comments so far.

  1. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    Before anybody asks—no, those are not Mr. Wow’s feet, wrapped in what appears to be a Snuggie.

  2. avatar Chip Griswold says:

    Wow. I am feeling a bit exhausted after reading this piece. Here I was enjoying the fact that I sat around much of Thanksgiving Day and Friday watching football and eating constantly – in between a few naps…….I read this and feel a little guilty! I tend to have trouble sleeping and no energy when I am in down mood. Often, I can’t even focus in on what is making me feel that way.

    John McCain: this guy really needs to be put out to pasture. He claimed he would support the change if they did a study – they did, majority of soldiers see no problem. Majority of military leadership sees no problem. Most Americans see no problem. As a ten year vet, I see no problem. John McCain, I see a problem – and it looks like John McCain.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Chris…please don’t feel guilty. I feel guilty! I never left the house. I was supine.

      Mr. McCain…okay, I’ll say it. Being a prisoner of war, who was terribly abused in captivity, does not make him a fine person. Or fit for a Senate seat or the presidency. It makes him a former soldier who endured (and survived!) the ordeals of other soldiers–many who did not survive. That was his experience then. He should have retired with the wealthy Cindy and worked out his demons in private. (After he ditched his handicapped wife,)

  3. avatar Maggie W says:

    Fortunately, the only time I had trouble sleeping is when one of the offspring was fighting in a country that held no WMDs, had no ties to Al Qaeda, and had no plans to invade our country. Lots of oil though. As for Senator McCain, he has conveniently forgotten that he co authored an immigration bill , along with Sen.Ted Kennedy, that would allow for a pathway to citizenship. I also recall that during the last days of a very long campaign , he “suspended” his campaign so could rush off to DC and save our country. There he was photographed having high ticket lunches in prominent DC and NYC restaurants. No savior was/is he by any stretch of the imagination. Time for him to stay on the ranch in AZ permanently and write a book about the many times he has reinvented himself.

    But back to sleep issues. I think sommetimes our bodies say, ” Time to shut down for awhile”. Sometimes it is for no apparent reason. Perhaps Mr WoW, you were ultra relaxed because you were safe in your home and with someone who shares unconditional love. That is indeed what life is all about. Everything else is a distant second.

    I’m hoping that during one of your fitful dreams, a Christmas tree idea popped into your head… although it will be diffiicult to “one up” last year’s tree.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Maggie….how right you are! Safe and with B. who loves me no matter what. (Even when I am nodding off over his fantastic turkey and an incredible stuffing!)

      As to The Tree, I am thinking, thinking…but honey, believe me, I can always get more gaudy. No problem.

  4. avatar Paul Smith says:

    With everything going on, what with Cholera and diplomatic secrets being compromised and North Korea reminding us of high stakes, its interesting that your daily diarizing reflected only on aging and dead stars, another fiction on Cleo, and a bambi-like zebra.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Paul…as you know nothing of my life (apparently!) and I know no nothing of yours– Did you spend Thanksgiving in the loving arms of your large family, immune to silly and serious matters? Cool.

      I have only one person, and that person has to deal with a lot. ME. I am fucking stressed out and find pleasure in reading, watching TV and dreaming. Every day I am sucked into the shit of our crazy political word–and I have certainly posted about it here. Excuse me–I am not allowed four days to restore myself? H-O-L-I-D-A-Y. guess you missed my final musing on Mr. McCain and Wikileaks.

      In conclusion. As Nanny Fine said to Miss Babcock: “When Bambi’s mother died, did that affect you? At all?”

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Paul, dear, I am very worried about North Korea blowing South Korea off the face of the map and even more worried knowing that when it does no one will be bothered by it since no one seems to be really bothered by anything anymore. Which will start a fad. People will start blowing up countries just for the hell of it. Knowing no one cares. Most will go “well at least it wasn’t us” and move on. I am upset by the politics in Haiti. EVen more upset by the politics of Haiti in Washington. Or wherever Mr. and Mr. “Send Us Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Haiti” aka Bush and Clinton are. Which is what it is all about. It is not about cholera. Just as it was not about people being homeless all these months. If enough people die, maybe they’ll riot and overthrow the government. Unless by chance they elect a government we want. Then, well, who cares? It’s Haiti. The oil off the coast matters. The people don’t. Just like we don’t matter. You may think we do but we don’t. We the people are not we the little people. We are here to pay taxes to pay for the rich and the poor. Nothing more.

      I am now the poor. I have another check that isn’t in the mail. And bills I cannot pay. I have CAT scans through Christmas. I may light up in the dark for Christmas from all the CAT scans. I may die. Who cares? I do. You don’t. I do.

      I like a little diversion. A little gossip here and there. A little schadenfreude perhaps. Much better with the old and the incapacitated, or even dead, than with the young and the restless, or should that be the young and the clueless.

      Mr. Wow likes a little diverson. A book, a TMC fest, some gossip. A little schadenfreude. And wildlife adventure things. I’m not into wildlife. Mr. Wow is. Surely you’re into something. I won;t ask what. But just thought I’d point that out.

      You could use some diversion. Go rent Bambi. It will take your mind off North Korea blowing South Korea off the face of the map. No one will care if they do. Trust me.

      As for diplomatic secrets being compromised I will politely ignore the comment. Assange should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for what he’s done. Don’t like truth? Too, too bad.

      We are a shameful nation. Time to accept it and send everyone to Nuremberg. Before someone blows us off the face of the map to be rid of us. Knowing no one will care.

      • avatar CYNTHIA NEIL says:

        Good on ya Snooks! You feel as I do about Assange, America needs some serious truth… but not on Thanksgiving weekend.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I thought Thanksgiving weekend was perfect.  For those of us who were already thankful someone hadn’t already managed to get us blown off the face of the map.  

  5. avatar Diane Edwards says:

    Reply to “John Smith”:

    I think you are missing the point. “Mr. Wow” was exhausted from dealing with everyday realities, thus the need to sleep and escape from it all, if only for an extended weekend holiday. This is what a real “vacation” is supposed to be.

  6. avatar Diane Edwards says:

    Whoops, “Paul Smith,” not “John Smith.”

  7. avatar Theresa Poore says:

    What no shopping at 4am ?

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Theresa…no, no…the Joan Rivers Jewelry Line? The things that cook anything–in ten minutes, the acne cures (so false!) I’m never that desperate. I mean, I might watch, but I never buy.

      • avatar SMALL TOWN GIRL says:

        well you missed all the good deals now hahaha

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Small Town Girl…Well, as much as I;d like to say it worked, it didn’t–I do mean Pro-Active. And I’d look overdone in Joan River’s baubles. To be fair tho, I’ve tried out that mineral makeup, and it works. Mr. Wow’s acne-ruddy complexion appears much smoother.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Sulfur soap. I alread told you this. No one listens to me. The best is sulfur soap by Grisi. You have to get it where they sell Mexican imports. Let it sit for a minute then rinse. It has lanolin in it. So it leaves your skin nice and smooth. Before all the beauty queens got fancy with the chemists and the “serums” they all used lanolin. They use lanolin to turn rawhide into leather. They don’t call it rawhide for nothing. It is raw and rough. Sulfur kills bacteria and what causes acne? Bacteria. The two work wonders together. Trust me. Their aloe vera soap is good as well. They have all sorts of soaps. Try them all. Then send a letter and tell them you love their soap but Baby Snooks wants the papaya soap. Maybe they will listen to you. The papaya soap. Oy. What a soap. Better than the sulfur soap. Now I’m depressed again. There is nothing better for the skin, any skin, than papaya soap. And theirs was the best.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Baby…

        B. read your post. He just called to tell me he has ordered Grisi for me.

        What a guy. Really.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Enjoy.  It’s fabulous. No other word for it. 

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Baby (now, why is the print so small?!)  If this soap does  a better job than my expensive dermatologists, I will hunt you down–I don’t care  how shocked I’d be at who you “really” are–and give you a great big kiss!

        Again—is it just me, or is the print really small?  I see the ital and bold functions are back.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        It’s me.  Looks fine when it came up.

        Mr. W.

        Okay now–let’s all send our good wishes to those who toil at WoW.  I myself have been a BIG pain in the ass to them–”where are my archives!”   (like, you know, they are the lost works of Hemingway.)

        I’m getting used to everything.  It just takes me a while.  Very slow.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        “I’m ready for my kiss Mr De Mille…”  It works. My dermatologist uses it. She thought I was nuts. Everyone thinks I’m nuts for some reason. 

      • avatar Lizzie R. says:

        OMG…I’m going blind.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        The soap arrived last night.  I used it. I did not break out in a rash, which is always my first fear in skincare.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I use it twice at night. The first time I rinse with warm/hot water to open up the pores. The second time I rinse with cold water. 

        Keep us posted.

      • avatar Carol Sturzenberger says:

        Mr. WOW, if you didn’t find Pro-Activ helpful, you might look into Paula Begoun’s skin care line, which I’ve found to be very good. Google it under “Cosmetics Cop” to find the site. Just a suggestion…

  8. avatar D C says:

    Sleep. I have been sleeping with the aid of pharmaceuticals for a few years now. It’s wonderful, dreamless, renewing sleep. I took a nap during the holiday, and woke up in the midst of a horrible nightmare that had me running to my husband in tears. So bad I couldn’t even describe it to him. No bloody horror movie gore… just the realization of my deepest fears presented as if it were happening. Give me the Ambien anytime! Except when I have things to do. Friday morning my daughter (22 and a senior in college) batted her eyelashes and told how she really needed that rock and roll amish costume for a party back at school. We hit the black Friday sale at the fabric shop and I set her cutting out the pattern, then did a bit of teaching while sewing a black cordouroy jumper. We decided to skip the bonnet. Before we knew it midnight rolled by and my 18 year old son came in from his social event. He looked away as he walked by and went straight to the bathroom. Something was wrong. When he came out, he came to me, tears in his eyes, and admitted he had gotten at speeding ticket. That was bad enough. Then I asked how fast — 90mph in a 60. wtf??? WTF??? WHAT THE F(*&?>??????

    Lecture. Lecture. Lecture… “give me the keys”.

    Sew some more.

    Finally, about 2am I decided to go to bed. I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for my family, for my job, for my health, for the health of my children, that my son’s stupidity didn’t get him into an accident, and that I learned to sew in that 10th grade class back in high school. I’m thankful we’re getting our Netflix Mad Men DVD’s regularly so I can catch up on a show I should have been watching. And I am thankful for Ambien, that helps me sleep no matter what is stressing me out. Oh, and I’m thankful for my family that tells me about the silly things I say in that last 10 minutes before I actually go get in the bed after I take the Ambien. Pretty funny stuff actually. They should write it all down — but then I couldn’t deny it later on.

    Back to work…

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Hmmmm…Ambien.  I’ve been tempted.  But then I keep hearing about all these people who drive (and I can’t drive) around with no memory, or assault people. 
      Also, by the time I get home I’ve usually had a margarita or three.  Always afraid to mix sleeping meds with drink.  New sleeping meds.  My usual stuff is fine.  If iffy in putting me under. 

  9. avatar adams beth says:

    A

  10. avatar HauntedLady says:

    Well, I see nothing at all wrong with a snoozy long weekend. Sometimes one just has enough of the real world and needs to retreat and recharge one’s batteries. Books, movies, whatever, it all helps the process.

    I have sleep issues, too, and spent a year and a half with a sleep specialist. Nothing worked, not the CPAP, Ambien, Lunesta, nothing. C’est la vie, I suppose. I have my books and movies so life is not so bad. Maybe Mr. Wow and I can form a loose book club for insomniacs. As we read, we sip a bit of wine and think about what we would discuss were we in the same place. Then doze off for a little nap.

  11. avatar Linda Myers says:

    A few days of relaxing, sleeping, having Thanksgiving dinner and spending time with who you love = a great holiday! I refuse to sleep with a TV on,many times I have been pulled into dreamland along side those on the TV. A few years ago, I was sleeping while my son was watching a really cheap vampire movie I was unaware of and found myself in dreamland in a trailer park surrounded by vampires only to wake up and realize on the TV screen where this had originated from. NOW, when does your tree decorating start! :-) Happy Holiday Mr. Wow and Mr. B.

  12. avatar Lila Kuh says:

    Mmmm, cheesy scrambled egg thing. Wunderbar!

    Try this next time, it’s my fave breakfast, Lila’s Tater Tot Stove-top Frittata:

    Chop up a scallion or two and toss into a medium saucepan or small skillet with lid. Use a little oil if it’s not a nonstick.
    Nuke about 9 Tater Tots and one precooked sausage link for about 50 seconds, then chop it all up and toss in the pan.
    Beat one egg with milk. Pour into the pan.
    Black pepper to taste. Tabasco or Chipotle if you are in a spicy mood.
    Top with shredded cheese, I like Cheddar and Monterey Jack.
    Put on the lid and turn the heat on to just a little higher than a simmer, and wait about 10 minutes or so. When it’s fragrant and the top is firm and the cheese melted, it’s done. Tip the pan and fold it out onto a plate. The bottom should be lightly browned.

  13. avatar rick gould says:

    Hi
    Mr wOw needs to get caught up on his zzzz’s…
    Nothin’ wrong with that ;)

    About some of your movie observations… I can just hear Ava saying that line in Mayerling. Gardner had such a subtle voice, very insinuating… much underrated…
    And Natalie, too… I think in Gypsy, her big showdown with Mama Rose reflected her difficult relationship with her OWN stage mom…

    Hope your Thanksgiving restup puts you in good spirits for Christmas, Mr. W!
    Rick

  14. avatar Lizzie R. says:

    Mr WOW…Glad you watch classic TV instead of those hideous reality shows. I don’t watch much TV, but did enjoy “Boardwalk Empire”. Next week is the finale & am almost hoping they all get shot. Nobody lovable there. The reality shows just prove that the country is becomming totally moronic. Was listening to a radio talk show today, and most of the callers were raving about Palin, with such misinformation. Then one man called, telling how he used to watch Rosevelt’s Fireside Chats on TV. OMG! I almost became comatose at the idiots who are voting, and ,furthermore, running the country. Just think, McCain is now comparing Palin to Reagan…sigh. It seems hopeless. If i could find some sulfer soap I just might eat it!
    BTW, Mr. Wow. I used to be a world-class insomniac. Now that I am older (old) I fall asleep almost instantly. Hope this happens to you too..

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Do not eat the sulfur soap. Please. They do make a tomato soap and an avocado soap. Not sure they are considered “gourment” soap. But, well, if you’re going to eat soap…

      I cannot watch reality tv. It is, well, too common. I have never liked common things. Simple things, yes. Common things, no.

      I cannot think about McCain or Palin or the Bushes or the Clintons or the Obamas or any of the rest of them anymore. If I have to atone for anything, it is for thinking about any of them to begin with. Sorry if I offend anyone but this country is turning into a trailer park. And the people who actually live in the trailer parks are fleeing to Canada. I suppose believing firmly that indeed the best way to avoid going to hell is to avoid those you know are headed there. And we are headed there. In the proverbial hand basket. And via cable news and talk radio.

      • avatar D C says:

        The only “reality” show worth watching, in my opinion, is So You Think You Can Dance.  It’s like watching the Olympics sort of… people with real talent, really competing.  If they took out the popularity part (call in votes), it would be a real competition.  Everything else is just what some idiot came up with so they wouldn’t have to pay real writers. 

  15. avatar NSH says:

    Your kind comments and observations about Natalie Wood’s performance in Gypsy warmed the hearts of all who love her. And to think you said this on the 29th anniversary of her tragic death. She was, quite often, under appreciated as an actress and her Gypsy Rose Lee was, and will always be, the best. Thank you.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear NSH…”Turn it OFF, Mother!!!” I’m telling you, nobody ripped into that scene the way Natalie did. And I am sure, as somebody above has mentioned, it came from her own issues with her own, quite irritating, mother.

      Yes, hard to believe 29 years have passed since her “accident.”

  16. avatar CYNTHIA NEIL says:

    What a lovely way to spend the weekend, although in my middle age I do find myself having to agree with you about both “A Star is Born” and “FG”.
    As for me I went straight back to the source and watched “The Wizard of Oz”.
    But about your sleeping problems, a couple of thoughts. The most important is calcium and magnesium. You have made clear that you live a stressful existence and consume alcohol on occasion. that combined with the other things you deal with I would bet sap your body of vitamins and minerals. May I suggest that you get yourself a bottle of the liquid cal/mag blends (because they are absorbed better) and that you take a shot within an hour before you intend to crash. If you don’t take basic supplements this might take a little while to work because you may need to rebuild your basic stores, but if you read the directions they say take it twice a day. If you snooze after turkey you could add l-tryptophan to that as well. Sleep is a function of the nervous system and it is not uncommon for our calcium and magnesium to become sapped by day to day living. Those are the two minerals vital to a strong nervous system.
    also, commit to sleep don’t read “Cleopatra,” read Heisenberg’s Theory of Quantum Physics. perhaps invest in a “white noise” machine which can create the sound of soft rain (literally). And whatever you do, don’t read “Finishing the Hat”, the collected lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, or you will laugh yourself silly and never sleep.
    I hope something here helps.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Cynthia…I watched “Oz” as well. What gives her performance an edge is the fact that she is NOT a little girl, in fact she is 17, and in real-life already quite sophisticated. (They had to tape down her bust!) She stands a bit aside from Dorothy’s innocence, and already there’s a nervous intensity in some of her line readings. I myself have always found the film’s conclusion quite sad…she’d prefer sepia-toned Kansas to Oz? Back to the people who gave her dog away?

      There’s no place like home indeed.

      • avatar CYNTHIA NEIL says:

        Dear Mr. Wow,
        Me too.   I always yelled at the TV when I was a kid.   But I suppose that reflects more on my childhood than anything else.
        I would have given anything for someone like the Scarecrow in my life.    I loved the cowardly lion and the tinman was ok, but Scarecrow ALWAYS felt like family. Plus he could dance like Ray Bolger.

      • avatar D C says:

        “she’d prefer sepia-toned Kansas to Oz? Back to the people who gave her dog away?There’s no place like home indeed.”

        Oh my… I never thought of it that way.  How profound!

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear DC…I wouldn’t apply the word “profound” to anything I say, but I was always struck by the “Oz” ending.  Even as a child I felt it wasn’t a very positive message.  But that might have had to do with my own childhood.  What—you shouldn’t look outside your backyard for happiness?

        Dorothy was a lot better off in The Emerald City.

  17. avatar Dan S. says:

    It’s been my experience that when someone tells me that I look tired, they’re saying that I look like something that just shambled out of a Romero movie and that the sleep that I’m lacking is, in fact, the sleep of death.

    I’ve never been quite comfortable with “You look nice today” or any of its variants either. It’s the “today” that always sticks to me. It’s like there’s an unspoken dialogue that goes more like “On most days, you can’t quite seem to get it together, but today is one of those unusual days where you did.” And don’t even get me started with that obfuscatory “cute”…

    I remember having all sorts of trouble trying to get to sleep as a kid, but I eventually got to a point where it wasn’t such a problem. Then I got to college and my sleep patterns became so sporadic that I think I mostly wandered around in some sort of half-sleep where I was never completely one thing or the other. I’m sure the fermented spirits played their part in that too. But now I have a job that’s utterly mentally exhausting and once that’s combined with a good workout, I have no problems getting to sleep. If anything, I have to make myself stay up a bit so that I can keep some sort of routine instead of falling asleep with a dinner plate on my lap.

    Much to my own surprise though, I did little sleeping over the Thanksgiving break. Well, no more than usual. As annoying as it is to get up when the alarm goes off at 4 AM, it’s doubly annoying when you wake up on your own at 4:30 AM when you don’t have to because your body is used to it.

  18. avatar Bella Mia says:

    Mr. Wow,

    I’ve gone through a long period of sleeplessness and fatigue, and I hate to say it but what worked fabulously was exercise like brisk walks, and time on the rowing machines at the gym. Trust me, getting that blood circulating and heart pounding every day does WONDERS for your entire system including sleep.

    I see so many seniors at the gym it’s astounding. Did you know that the greatest predictor of longevity is lung capacity? Makes sense. If the outdoors isn’t your cup of tea, whAt about swing dancing or Jive. Time to do something intense. Shock the system. Swimming is also another good activity if you have access to an indoor pool during the winter my gym has one.

    And the second thing is B12 gives you more energy during the day to be active. Try to eliminate the caffeine for a while so you can get a true reading of how you REALLY feel.

    Best.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Bella…I do the gym on weekends.  And exercise at home every day.  Push ups, sit ups, that fantastic elastic thing I attach to the door, bar bells.  I walk a lot.

      But I admit, during my Thanksgiving holiday I slacked off.  And felt properly guilty and flabby for my sin.

  19. avatar Donna H says:

    I used to be an insomniac. When I used to work day shift (the alarm went off at 3:45 am), I had trouble falling asleep, & more trouble staying asleep. I woke up hourly, sure that I had slept through the alarm. When I worked night shift, I had trouble falling asleep but slept much better. I almost never went “right to sleep” unless I’d over-imbibed.

    As I approached middle-age& started to research menopause, I read that many women developed insomnia. That scared me; I thought my sleeping problems would increase & imagined myself as one of those people you see on ‘medical mystery’ programs; someone who hasn’t slept at all for years.

    Menopause had the opposite effect as expected when it came to my sleep problems. While I still occasionally have insomnia, it isn’t nearly as severe & is much less frequent than before. Most of the time, sleep comes easily. So easily that if I sit still for too long (sometimes in as little as ten minutes) I fall asleep.

    A few years ago, when I had to buy a new sofa, I actually stretched out sofas in stores to test their “nap-worthiness”.

    When I retired last winter & had returned from my ‘retirement gift to me’ trip, I spent almost three months as Mr. wOw spent his Thanksgiving break, until I realised two things: even with cable, daytime TV sucks (I had worked night shift for years & had no idea what was on TV during daytime), & I was putting on a lot of weight.

    I’m much more regulated now, but I have Bubba the WonderCat to thank; his schedule requires me out of bed to do waitress duty no later than 8 am, & if I’m on my nap-worthy sofa, he wants me in certain positions that are apparently comfortable for him but not for me ((he believes strongly in the old belief that to cats, humans are merely warm-blooded furniture).

    When I do have trouble falling asleep, I listen to motivational programs on my MP3 player (I love Paul McKenna’s British accent). When I do, I often wake up from dreams that aliens are trying to crawl into my ears because the earbuds are still in place.