Alarm woes

What do you do when alarm clocks actually don’t work for you anymore?

Everyday my alarm is set to go off at 7:00 am and everyday at 7:00 am my subconscious either hits the snooze or outright dismisses the alarm without my consent. I swear to god my body will hit the snooze 15 times without my ever having noticed it. I have trained myself to be immune to alarms over many many years. What to do about this?

I have tried changing up the sound. I regularly set new and excitingly obnoxious tones and songs in the hopes that one will be annoying enough to properly wake me up, but it doesn’t work. I’ve tried putting the alarm across the room and setting multiple alarms, but none of these things have been effective enough to stir me. Fortunately I mostly work afternoons and evenings so until now it hasn’t mattered much if I overslept, and generally I get to bed fairly early so I’m mostly awake at 8:30 or 9 which isn’t too bad. The problem is that in the coming weeks I have been scheduled to work at 7 in the morning which means I need to be up by 6 at the latest and that’s quite the jump from 8:30 or 9, you know? I prefer to run off my own biological clock. Now I’m scratching my head wondering how on earth I’m going to manage to wake up before the sun, which I hate. I seriously HATE when I wake up and it’s still dark. It feels wrong.

I remember once I had to leave to get to work at 4 am and man was that ever a disaster. I had to set my alarm for 3:30 but I was too afraid to sleep in case I overslept so instead I just stayed awake the whole night and spent the entire day exhausted and grumpy.

I follow this guy on instagram whose handle is Before5am. His tagline says “Success starts before 5am,” and I think there must be some merit to that so I’m always keen to read his thoughts on the subject. Recently he wrote a post with tips on how to wake up early and he offers some really solid advice like listening to music first thing, looking at your goals, using motivational images, or playing motivational videos… all of these things sound great. My struggle is that I don’t ever have that moment of consciousness whereby I can implement any of these strategies.

I’m the girl that needs the alarm that’s not really an alarm but rather a pair of robotic arms that come out of the wall in the morning and tip the mattress over to spill you onto the floor. I think that might work. Or every morning a pack of puppies is released into my apartment to wreak havoc and chaos. I’d get up for that, too. I’m sure we could brainstorm plenty of ridiculously innovative but impractical alarm scenarios like these, in fact we should.

In all honesty, though, I think it’s a smart habit to wake up early. I’d really like to get in the habit of waking up at the same time everyday. Do any of you have any tips for this? It would be great to have a proper morning routine. Wake up, write for a couple hours, post on the blog, enjoy some chai, then go to work. It would be very classical hipster, which I love.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

 

 

Clouds are magic

Today is an absolutely beautiful day in Toronto, which is a real treat and turnaround from the dreary, bleak, grey skies we’ve been experiencing for what feels like weeks on end. It’s amazing what a difference a crystal clear sky makes in everyone’s attitude; everywhere I go I see smiling faces and people out making the most of the day.

Since I posted that ridiculously long post about New Zealand yesterday I find myself feeling very nostalgic and scrolling through the 1000+ photos I took while I was there. One thing I got really into doing was photographing clouds. I wanted to share a few of them with you guys, cause, you know… 🙂

20161128_16075220161201_12445620161202_08582520161205_09051120161205_09172920161118_155037

Happy Saturday friends xoxo

some inner dialogue

Good vs Evil brain, a conversation.

Good: I think I’ll write something today.

Evil: Are you sure that’s a good idea?

Good: Sure, why wouldn’t it be?

Evil: Are you kidding? Read your drafts! Every word written there if barf.

Good: That’s a bit harsh.

Evil: It’s the truth.

Good: Well screw you, I’ll write something anyway.

**writing**

Evil: ….. so?

Good: You’re right, this is really shitty.

Evil: You should have just listened to me to begin with.

**crying**

fin

This is what mindless work does to me

So after working a mind-numbing job I hate all day I came home unnecessarily grumpy and proceeded to wonder why on earth no one in the world is paying me millions of dollars to write poems and dance all day. I mean that’s not such an extravagant request, is it? Sort it out universe.

Anyway. After that I proceeded to get more and more tired, which led to being more and more grumpy. However, within the last hour or so I’ve moved on to the more fun stage of being over-tired. The everything-I-do-and-see-and-hear-is-funny-but-only-to-me phase. This phase is great for the first 40 minutes or so before you miss the sleep window and then you’re in the twice-as-grumpy-as-before-except-now-you-can’t-sleep-and-the-world-is-awful phase. But before I get there, I thought I’d go ahead and take advantage of the stupid fun and share with all of you unfortunate enough to be reading this what I spent the last half hour of my life thinking about.

You see, I happen to think I’m pretty hilarious, although only my best friend would agree with me and everyone else thinks I’m just an idiot. But let’s junk with the naysayers and assume for the sake of this awful blog post that I’m right. A long time ago (we’re talking 8+ years) I used to write down what I thought were some highly amusing jokes in a journal and assume that one day, when I was a talented artist (which has/will never happen) I’d compile them into some sort of comic book. I hadn’t thought about that ridiculous notion for many years, but then I started to think about comic books, or graphic novels (I’m hip with the modern terms). Then I started to think about villains and superheroes.

I don’t know why.

Anyways, this train of thought progressed until I got it in my head that I could write an awesome graphic novel centred around my dog, Buttercup, who is very much a villian and a hero in one. Pretty exciting premise, right? If you’re not yet convinced, I present you with this:

ButtercuptheHowlerss

Amazing.

I envision her as an impossible-to-contain mega hero with zero tolerance for injustice. She strikes at the slightest infraction of the law, and only with the help of me, her sidekick, can she be contained. She is both menace and hero, loathed and loved. I named her the howler because she likes to bark incessantly at home. It drives me up the wall, but now I realise she must be using her barks to alert her superhero friends of various crimes happening around the world that she detects with her superior hearing powers. It’s all starting to make sense.

Actually here’s an incomplete impromptu list of her powers, as I see them:

  • A bark that deafens and incapacitates foes.
  • Breathes underwater, thus can drag enemies into the depths to drown (she is a water dog so this makes sense).
  • Digs holes which enemies fall into and are stranded until someone comes to dig them out. [addendum: Buttercup leans over the hole and drools on them while they are stuck there. And she has an obscene amount of drool, so this is a particular punishment.]
  • Menacing growl which paralyses.
  • Uncontrollable temper which frightens and strikes fear in the hearts of those who cross her.
  • Humongous canines capable of piercing through an arm, or leg…or heart.

Yeah..

I guess I’ll stop there and go get some sleep before I completely lose it. Feel free to unfollow on your way out of the post.

I know where I live

A couple nights ago I went out for a few drinks with some girls from my program for one of their birthdays. We went to some bar not far from my house, I’d say it takes 15 minutes tops by car if the roads aren’t busy. I took a taxi because I knew I’d have at least a couple drinks and obviously wasn’t going to want to drive, and I ended up staying there for quite a while. By the time I left to flag down a taxi it was close to 2 am.

The point of this story is the interaction I had with the taxi driver. He presumed arrogantly that because I was a young girl leaving a bar late at night that I must be completely plastered. I wasn’t drunk in the least. Tired, yes, but undoubtedly coherent. He decided that I must be so out of it that he could pull one over on me and take me sight seeing in my own hometown. It went like this:

Taxi driver: Hi. Where would you like to go?

I gave him my house address, thanked him, and sat quietly in the backseat. He proceeded to drive on, and I sat there eagerly awaiting my chance to crawl into bed and sleep. Somehow that wasn’t going to be the end of my night, however, as I noticed the taxi driver going in the complete opposite direction of my house.

Me: Umm… sorry but where are you going?

Taxi driver: To your house.

Me: My house is actually the other direction.

He pulls up to the left hand turn lane and we sit for a few minutes at a red light. Since it’s 2 am the roads are dead. It’s just me and him in this horrible taxi ride of bullshit.

Taxi driver: No, I am going the right way.

Me: It’s much faster if you turn right here and go down this road. I can direct you.

Taxi driver: I know where I’m going.

Me: Sorry, I know you can go this way to get there, but it takes twice as long. Can we just go the other way, please?

Taxi driver: Well, I’m already in this left turn lane.

Me: There’s nobody on the roads, I’m sure it’ll be fine if you just go.

Taxi driver: I can’t do that. Don’t worry it doesn’t take any longer going this way.

Me: Yes it does.

Taxi driver: No, no. It’s about the same distance.

I was pretty grumpy from being tired, and my annoyance level was escalating very quickly. I mean who is this guy to contradict me? I’m a paying customer. Don’t try and pull this crap on me man.

Me: Sorry but I have lived here for over twenty years and I can assure you it takes much longer this way.

Taxi driver: No it’s fine. You just relax back there, little girl. I’ll get you home in no time.

Even more annoyed now at being dismissed and called “little girl” in a very disrespectful way.

Me: I think I know the fastest route to my house, man. You just want to go this way so that it costs me more money.

Taxi driver: What? I don’t think so.

Me: ….

Taxi driver: I’ll get you home.

Me: Look, I’ll just get out here I don’t need to spend so much money. I’d rather walk.

I gave him a scowl through the mirror. He sighed at this point and then finally corrected his route and went the proper way.

Taxi driver: Okay fine I go this way.

Me: Thank you.

We rode for the next 10 minutes in horribly tense and uncomfortable silence, although I had a wonderful sense of self-satisfaction from having won the argument.

I think there must be some invisible aura of argument emanating from me because somehow I always end up having bizarre debates with people. Or maybe I just seem really easy to manipulate and rip off. When I was younger I was incredibly shy and so took a lot of crap from people in positions of authority. I also had one really horrible encounter with someone once and ever since then I decided I need to develop a tough skin and stand up for myself. So while I have been developing a confident take-no-crap personality on the inside, my physical self has not caught up yet, so I still have people trying to walk all over me.

Aren’t they surprised when it turns out to be the opposite. I almost enjoy it now. Almost.

Any one else ever have a taxi driver try and take the longest route possible? What did you do?

The argumentative barista

I had an interesting, and indeed, mind-baffling encounter with a barista at Starbucks today. I know what you’re thinking… how could an interaction with a barista possibly be considered mind-baffling? Surely you exaggerate!

And I’ll concede, my story doesn’t relate the experience of witnessing a dinosaur ordering a mocha, which would be absolutely amazing. Or anything else equally outrageous. But it is right up there. Let me tell you.

It starts innocently enough, I’m waiting in a stupidly long line brimming with other coffee-addicts also willing to drop five hard earned dollars on mediocre (let’s be honest) coffee. As I wait amongst the well organised herd, I pretend that this moment isn’t a complete waste of time by fiddling around on my phone checking all my very important non-emails. I inch closer and closer to the front of the line until finally I hear someone say they can take my order.

I’m at the university Starbucks, so I know I better keep it simple. They have a very hard time maintaining their attention spans long enough to make drinks correctly there. You’re lucky if you get someone who actually reads the letters on the bottom of the cup, usually it’s like playing the coffee lottery. Sometimes you win, but usually you lose.

“I’ll have a green tea latte, please. With soy.”

She proceeds to write that down and then passes the cup to the bar. Now I cross my fingers and hope for the best.

An irrationally long period of time passes which I feel will never end. I stand at the end of the bar awaiting my drink with at least ten other saps. All of us have been sucked into the void that is this university Starbucks, and it’ll be a miracle if we get our drinks before we’re dead. I see seven or eight barely-past-their-teens employees giggling away like little school girls, oblivious to the drink orders piling up and doing NOTHING. I wonder how this place stays in business with employees who don’t do anything, and hate myself for continuing to return day after day. Following that I cry a little inside when I realise that another twenty minutes of my life has been frittered away here in coffee hell, and I imagine I must look like some sort of doll devoid of substance to the passers-by who still have lives. Pity me, humans, for my life no longer has meaning.

But finally the light at the tunnel, and the reason why I’m suckered into coming back– my drink is called and placed out for me.

I walk over like a hopeful squirrel, and am thoroughly disappointed when I stare into my cup and see that it has been made wrong, yet again. I’ve been presented with a cup of steamed milk without any green tea in it whatsoever.

Sigh. I catch the attention of the barista who made my drink.

“I’m sorry, I ordered a green tea latte,” I say.

“That IS a green tea latte,” she replies in annoyance.

I let her tone pass, and continue.

“You forgot to put green tea in it, I’m afraid.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did. This is just a cup of steamed soy milk.”

“Look, I know how I made the drink,” she says incredulous. “It’s a green tea.”

Fucking bullshit, I think.

“No, no” I say aloud, and rather irritated. “This drink would need to be a different colour to be correct. Green to be specific.”

Finally she takes the half second required to glance into my drink, and see despairingly that I’m right.

“Oh” she says simply. Not even an ounce of humour in her voice. “Well, what? You want me to remake it, I guess?”

You guess? Damn right you better remake that shit.

“Yes, if you don’t mind.”

She then proceeds to very dramatically pour the contents of the steamed milk out and then sighs as she gets started making the drink once more. Heaven forbid someone demand the drink they spent five dollars on. You’d think she wasn’t getting paid to do it, like I had asked her to give me her firstborn to sacrifice.

The worst part is I know I’ll go there again. Never learning, and doomed to repeat the same mistake over and over again in pursuit of green tea lattes.

I blame the mac

This past Thursday I had a test (all short/long answer questions) for one of my uni classes which had to be completed in the lab within a one hour time constraint. The class is scheduled to be, and usually always lasts,  for 1 1/2 hours. Why we were only allowed one hour to complete it is utterly beyond me… but anyway.

I show up to class (an achievement) early (another achievement) because I am ready to write this stupid thing and pass the crap out of it. My mindset was good, I was feeling the lure of a passing grade that morning. In fact I was in such a positive mindset that I could have barfed up some optimism and still had enough left over to be slightly obnoxious.

I studied for this test. So hard. Okay, that was a lie. I studied a little. And by a little I mean the absolute-last-minute-morning-of-the-test kind of studying. But I still knew enough about the material to wing it and do reasonably well. By my wager I had just the right amount of knowledge to pull off a nice B and feel relaxed about it.

So I’m sitting there in the lab, early, ready to go and thinking yeah, I can do this. I can pass this test! My god it’s an achievable thing. Just believe, just believe! I look to the prof in mildly tense anticipation waiting for her to give the okay to click the START TEST button. When at last she gives us all the go ahead I take a deep breath, and click. The questions pop up, and as I read through them an immense flood of relief washes over me because I know most of the answers. By some miracle, I have been given the knowledge to succeed. I sat there and thought thank you, universe! I love you.

Well let me tell you, that appreciation got me NOWHERE, and the promise of optimism is nothing but a facade to set you up for disappointment… I may be exaggerating a little here. But disappointingly..

I failed the test. Not because I didn’t know the answers, for I surely knew enough of them to pass. So how then did I fall short of success? Well…

I had to use a mac to do it.

That’s right, I am BLAMING the mac for my failure of this test. If the mac were a child I would send it to sit in the corner, or make it stand shamefully beneath a dunce cap for its ridiculous behaviour. I would even let the other kids tease it. I mean imagine my annoyance. I woke up early to read and study things I don’t care about in order to pass a test, and because of the mac, I failed anyway. Thanks a lot, apple inc!

Now before you think I’m trying to justify my failures by blaming apple products, allow me to explain. I have never had any unreasonable distaste for pretty laptops and snazzy products. I am not one of these anti-mac people who hate everything apple. I even have an ipod. So you know my grievances must be legitimate.

Before this test I had never operated a mac computer for longer than twenty seconds. I don’t even know how to describe what went wrong except that my test window disappeared, random useless windows APpeared, I couldn’t right click, I didn’t know where the minimize and maximize buttons were, random things popped up when I pushed certain buttons that wouldn’t go away, and on, and on. It was absolutely the most ridiculous thing ever. And the worst part is, I started getting so FRUSTRATED. I was fuming. I wanted to throw the keyboard across the room. Several times I imagined myself screaming aloud in unbridled  rage WHAT IS THIS BULLSHIT! and then grabbing my stuff and stomping out of the room like some sort of crazy child having a temper tantrum. I was so mad it was comical, because no matter what I did I could not figure out how to make it function properly, like a PC.

This was me at the end of this horrific mac experience:

By the time the test was over I had only managed to complete maybe half the questions, and not even the important ones worth the most marks. When the prof walked by and kindly asked me if I had finished, I smiled bitterly and said “For better or for worse, emphasis on the worse.” And then I imagined burning the lab down so that I would have my vengeance against the computer that damned my grade.

I’m considering blaming apple products for all of my life problems in the future. It feels good.