Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Unsettling thoughts at 3:54 a.m.


I know 3:54 a.m. is a funny time to be alive and checking on my blog but this waking up in the middle of the night thing happens to me sometimes.

The first problem with this is the fact time never stands still so it's already 3:56 a.m. Well time moves in diverse paces and if one minute is a snapshot of our lives we seldom have time to collect our thoughts before we are on to the next.

For me 3:57 a.m. is a sobering time. If I wake up in the night I am either ambushed by night fears or I can see clearly. I think of the song I Can See Cearly Now the Rain Has Gone, but really I can't because I associate it with an advert now, for coffee, I think. In saying that "advert's" not a term I should use, certainly not in copy. It's an English term.

Even now after half a decade in the states I can throw people with these terms. An official asked me if I wanted a coffee yesterday and I said: "That's so kind."

She told me I had confused her because in American this meant I was declining whereas I seemed to be accepting.

I told her it would help me see more clearly now the rain was gone. I didn't tell her City Hall coffee wasn't so good.

By 4:02 a.m. I'm not so sure if I can see more clearly at this time. I certainly can't see where this blog posting is going. Just hours after posting about old people, something slipped in my back and I have been walking around like a geriatric ever since.

Which brings me to another cultural difference. At home people will readily ask you what's wrong as you walk through the newsroom with the gait of someone who had wet their pants. Here people won't ask, but you know they are thinking: "what the heck?"

I think the same thing when I check the stats on my blog these days - 60 something views this week on a post about Anderson Cooper, 30 something on one about old people, 3,500 on a post about Justin Bieber. So the cynical strategy worked but who are these viewers? They never leave comments. I wonder if they are actually viewers or some strange computer generated phenomenon.

I half caught an interview tonight by Piers Morgan with the Winklevoss Twins, who say they invented Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg stole it. It was rather strange to see this chisel cut duo in their expensive suits and frat boy hairstyles banging on about their working class roots and how they were fighting the good for social justice. They left me unconvinced and sure there are worthier causes, democracy in Egypt, that kind of thing.

I was struck by the review by Rachel Dillin in the Oklahoma Examiner, mainly because it was the first thing that came up on Google. Morgan, said the reviewer, was combative towards his guests the entire time. Really? it didn't strike me that way. But maybe this is another cultural difference to bear in mind as Brits like Morgan take over the world as we know it.

By British standards Morgan and even Simon Cowell are hardly combative. It's surely time to unleash Jeremy Paxman on America, assuming he can avoid those embarassing gaffes with the word "cuts."

By 4:21 a.m. it's become clear that I am losing the plot and my thoughts are becoming increasingly fragmented. I blame this on being a single dad for at least two-and-a-half weeks while my wife is in Canada. Things have spiralled out of control of late and I am hoping the baby isn't still in the freezing car. A quick check reveals this isn't the case and it's now 4:22 a.m. What is it with Bieber anyhow?

The house is starting to look like Francis Bacon's studio. My back problems make tidying it up a non option. So I have decided to go away on a road trip. I may be gone some time.

Enjoy the silence. Failing that you can always tune into Jeremy in trouble with that pesky c word.


16 comments:

  1. America is not ready for Mr. Paxman. I have watched him for years and he makes Simon seem like Mr. Rogers.
    Insomnia is crap, good luck mate....

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  2. Half a tablet of Xanax (0.25mg) might help. I say this with a disclaimer that it is a general recommendation, so may not be suitable for you specifically. But then again I don't think you have sleeping problem as such, by the sound of it.

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  3. I find it rather refreshing that journalists in the UK will actually ask hard-hitting questions that need to be asked! I had a funny conversation with a Brit yesterday about the point of American journalists if they're not going to ask anything worthwhile. I tend to agree!

    Sorry about the insomnia mate. I'm on the other spectrum, having slept through a hurrican once *shrugs*

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  4. thanks for the insomnia stuff Daft Scots Lass, Sausage Fingers, Granda and Lifebegins. I was alseep by 4.30 ish, tho. Tis true, sometimes interviewers over here seem to be in awe of the people they are interviewing.

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  5. "losing the plot" is one of my favorite British sayings.

    When I worked in Brazil I lived with 2 Brits (one English and one Scottish) and it was such a treat to hear them talk. At the end of the 2 years there, I had picked up all the British sayings.

    I hope you can get you some sleep.

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  6. Oh, goodness, David. I do hope your back gets better quickly. A major back injury was what kept me completely immobile and mostly offline for about five weeks this winter, and I felt just like you describe, an old woman, hobbling around and unable to reach things, once I was able to move again. It's a miserable feeling. I cannot imagine caring for small children at the same time. Yikes!

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  7. Well, I'm glad to hear the baby wasn't still out in the car! :-)

    Sorry to hear about the back problems and the insomnia, David. I hope you feel better soon and your wife returns before too long to help relieve some of the stress for you.

    As for the popularity of Bieber, I don't really see the attraction, but then I'm pretty sure I am not part of what they would consider his target audience--HA HA! :D

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  8. I hope your back feels better soon. That's awful.

    And ummm you sound a lot more intelligent and put together than I do at 4 a.m. Lol. I'm impressed. And envious. ;)

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  9. I don't get the whole pageviews thing either. My most popular post was me ranting about how I get annoyed with having to drive. I finally figured out that it was because I put a picture of a 1997 lincoln town car in there and apparently people search for that image a lot so it hits as a page view. That's all I can guess anyway.

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  10. It's funny how he immeidately corrected himself and kept on talking, as if he didn't just make a horrid mistake.
    Sorry you didn't sleep well, but I enjoyed this stream of (semi) consciousness post.
    xoRobyn

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  11. Thanks Oilfield - there are others I don't realize are British like 'gone pear shaped' - sorry about yor back Meredith, it makes you grumpy, mine is improving. Thanks Daisy, I'm not his target audience either. Thanks jennifer, but I was starting to lose it. I think you are right about the image Christopher. I know Robyn, but if you look carefully you can see a slight grin as he's thinking 'foook'

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  12. Ah yes. 3am. The loneliest time in the world.

    Happily, I was fast asleep at that time this morning.

    Not that I'm boasting, because tomorrow that could be me, standing outside in a dark, silent world smoking.

    Do try not to leave your baby in the car over night. That could lead to matrimonial discord, not to mention a visit from the dreaded social services.

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  13. I wouldn't change the way you speak or write English, our friends over your side of the pond have bastardised the language to death. Paxman in the US now there's a show I'd watch.

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  14. I have insomnia as well at times and I have a great F. Scott quote if you're interested.

    . . . and . . . personally, I love listening to English people speak. Although I am confused why that woman thought you were turning down the coffee?

    I'd love to sport a fake English accent, but my Minnesota roots would begin to show in about one minute.

    Feel better!

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  15. David- I hope it's not long before your back straightens itself. And fatigue! I wonder if it's the time of year--I've been writing about this myself. And I can remember the utter fog of sleep deprivation when my kids were young. I used to obsessively check on them, make sure they were (or weren't!)where I remembered them to be. The mind plays awful tricks when exhausted.
    Oh- and something to help you get your mind away from the advert and back to the joy of Johnny Nash's song (my kids love this): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkwJ-g0iJ6w&feature=related
    -j ;)

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