Saturday, December 28, 2013

Insomnia in Plaid


This pattern was also very popular with Edward VIII,
during his carefree days as Prince of Wales.

My sleep patterns are disrupted here. However there's a fireplace in the sitting room that makes being mysteriously awake at 3 a.m. seem like a luxury. Thursday night, I read on the couch and talked to Bette, the aging bassett-retriever, until I fell back asleep at dawn. Hoping for a repeat this morning, I got up in the dark and came downstairs to find it was nearly 7 and my mother was up with a computer in her lap.

It's no surprise that my sleep is off. It usually is. I don't conform well to the 8-hour sleep schedule, and I fantasize about a life where I can both be a productive member of society and sleep whenever the whim strikes me. My friend Harris pointed me towards the idea of "second sleep" or "segmented sleep" when I complained of this in the spring. There is historical documentation to support the idea that pre-industrial people (i.e., those not beholden to the factory clock and the world it created) tended to wake in the night and made use of the wee hours. What about all the people who couldn't afford candles, that's what I wonder.

Sitting room fires, candles, I'm glad for these things. And old dogs, couches, winter breaks, stacks of books, and Bailey's in my pre-dawn coffee.

Reading: Almost done with Separate Peace. Today I will start Looking for Alaska by John Green (because all my students love John Green, so I need to read him) or Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (it's been on my list for a long time, and now as a teacher of high school students I hope it might fortify me in some way).

Writing: Working with some bits and pieces of things I sketched during the fall.

Dinner: Thursday we did have Nantucket scallops (thanks, Jonth). I baked them with butter and garlic and minced onion topped with bread crumbs, then sprinkled with parsley and lemon juice at the table.

Friday I made butter beans in the crockpot with the ham bone from Christmas (with onion, celery, carrot, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, a little Montreal steak seasoning in lieu of cajun spice at the end, and a pat of butter stirred in before serving). We at it in bowls with my mom's cornbread broken up on top.

Soundtrack: Mark Bolan is a running joke of sorts in Dallas Buyer's Club, which we saw yesterday. He is also thanked in the credits. Which reminds me, I got a boxed set of Life on Mars for Christmas.

Plus, is Jared Leto's band any good? He's great in DBC.

Random thing: I spent Friday afternoon tooling around discount retail wonderland with my sister (and DZ&O), and I scored some very well made and well-fitting glen plaid trousers. The book of all things tells me this pattern is not a traditional clan tartan but was used in the 19th century by the New Zealand-born countess of Seafield to outfit her gamekeepers in Glen Urquhart, which by the way borders Loch Ness.

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