The Insomnia Chronicles

I occasionally suffer from insomnia, and lately I’ve been bit by the sleepless bug hard. Since I work from home, I’ll usually take an hour nap after work (around 6 PM). It probably doesn’t make anything better, but it feels good at the time, so that’s how it goes. As a result, even if I go to bed around 11 AM, body and mind primed for sleep by my good friend Rozerem, I’m up around 3-4 AM. Rather than toss and turn and keep my wife up, I’ll come out to the home office/living room and stay up.

What am I into at 5:16 AM?

1. Facebook games. I’ve never been infected by the Farmville virus (you’re welcome), but I have a few of those mindless click-and-collect games that I like. I purposely limit them to five so I don’t go overboard- Backstage’s Slots, Scratch And Win, Bingo Explosion, and Pull Tabs, along with another game called Egg Breakers.

2. The BS Report. If there’s a better podcast out there…well, let me know in the comments. ESPN’s Bill Simmons is running a salon for writers, sports figures, and comedians. Don’t get distracted by the constant Boston sports teams cheerleading; listen for the deep interviews with Patton Oswalt, Chuck Closterman, football writer Mike Lombardi (who’s always fascinating), and his friends Jacko and Cousin Sal. This podcast is the reason I’m working with my Comic Widows friend Glenn Walker on a podcast of our own, GAR!.

3. Wrestling DVDs. My brain isn’t really up to a movie at this time of the morning, but wrestling’s perfect. Amazon had a huge sale on wrestling DVDs last month, so I have a shelf full of WWF(E?) DVDs for the perusing. You can literally hear your heart break as you watch Eddie Guerrero set the world on fire and beat his inner demons, only to end up dead in a hotel room at 38. And you can learn a lot about avoiding your own hubris by listening to a “shoot” DVD with Vincent Russo, the former writer of the WWF’s Attitude era who ended up courtside at the destruction of the last major competition to the WWF, WCW.

4. Books. I’ve got a stack to read here. Rudy Rucker, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, a bunch of graphic novels, Michael Lewis’s latest…the stack is higher than my lamp.

5. The Beatles’ White Album. I can’t get Cry Baby Cry out of my head. Note- I will NOT listen to Revolution No. 9 in the middle of the night.

6. My cats, Koko and Dewey. When I come out from the bedroom, Koko’s usually in my chair. He’s not a lapcat (though he’s very friendly in his own way), so he’ll eventually scatter, but he’ll accept some petting before he goes. Sometimes, Dewey, who’s blind but very friendly, will either be in the recliner next to my desk, or over on the couch next to that. He makes the sweetest purrs.

7. My Nintendo DS. I don’t like to power up the TV and PS2 at this time of the morning, but my old Nintendo DS (it’s a first-generation system, pre-DS Lite) is perfect. Quick to boot, quiet…I’m playing a lot of Retro Game Challenge and Space Invaders Extreme lately.

8. Work. There’s no better time to work than in the few hours before work actually starts. If I clear the decks of routine reports before the day begins, I’m better equipped to handle the minor crises that will pop up during the day.