Tuesday, December 4, 2012

when I can sleep, I dream...

Something rather peculiar has been happening for a few weeks now. On Sunday nights, I am generally glued to the TV, since almost all of my favorite shows are on Sunday nights: Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Dexter, Treme, Shameless, Girls, Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, Breaking Bad...luckily they don't all have the same seasons. Treme and Boardwalk Empire just ended, and Homeland and Dexter are still on. These are all quality shows, and all on cable or premium cable. (The only shows I watch regularly on network TV are CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, and Fringe - Fringe being the only one that isn't on a Sunday.)

Dexter is a totally unique program, and both the character and the lead actor (Michael C. Hall) are amazing. And although I don't have ay sort of crush on either the actor or the character (and in fact, I think most of what he wears on the show is pretty unflattering), I find that I dream about him frequently on Sunday nights. The man in my dreams doesn't seem to be either Dexter or Michael C. Hall, but it's that guy, that face and that body. I don't remember much about the dreams except for the one last night - he was my lover, and dead sexy. Last night we were involved in some sort of caper, working in a team on some sort of scam. Part of it was in a casino. I actually have quite a few dreams where I'm in some sort of casino or an old-school yet pristine arcade (the sort with pinball and skee-ball, not video games).

I also have a lot of dreams where I'm either in a caper or hiding and escaping from someone or something. In these dreams, I'm sometimes in the story, and sometimes watching it as if it's a movie or show.It's always kind of vague and yet very emotionally charged.

And tonight, I couldn't fall asleep. I see my therapist on Tuesdays, and she's requested that I not take Atavan nor the "herbal relaxant" the night before. I generally take an Atavan before bedtime, which quiets down the racing thoughts that often prevent me from falling asleep; the herbal makes me sleepier.

I guess I'm a little jazzed up because the goods from my online shopping spree are starting to arrive. The TV came some days ago, but we have to get rid of the 100-lb. tube TV before we can set the new one up, which involves getting someone to take it down two flights of stairs. Barry's going to get a couple of local guys to do it this weekend, since it's way beyond our abilities. But the big prize came today: my new phone.

My new phone is a Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G, which I bought very slightly used on eBay for about half of the retail price. Although I may not be able to pay for service until the middle of the month, I turned it on, fiddled with it a little, changed the wallpaper. It is so beautiful. I expect it to be a life-changer, one of those extremely useful tools like the internet or my beloved Kindle. I'm far from being a techie, but I learn very fast when something can be useful or make me more productive. (All of the shopping I did with my crafts fair money was online.) I don't use my current "feature phone" much, since it's a bottom of the barrel phone that I got free when I was on public assistance. You have to use the phone-button keys to text, which is a huge pain in the ass. The only use I really get out of it is to call Barry when I'm in transit ("do you need me to pick anything up on the way home?"); the only advantage to it is that it's entirely free, and I use it for long-distance calls (due to an old debt of Barry's, we can't get long-distance service on our landline, and have to use a phone card).

My feeling is that I'll be doing a lot of texting with the new phone; also, it has a very good camera with flash. (It even has a second camera to make video calls.) Plus I expect it will replace my mp3 player. I really wanted to get something that wouldn't be outdated in a hurry, and although I really wanted a Galaxy iii, I ended up with a Galaxy ii, which I'm pretty sure is only one notch down from top-of-the-line. I'm not a fan of Apple, and don't use any of their products (my mp3 player is a Sansa Fuze, which is excellent and has served me well).

The TV also has all of the bells and whistles I could get for under $400; it has wireless internet connectivity, which I believe means that I can put anything on the TV that's on my computer - I know I'll be able to use Netflix streaming, and I hope I can use the DVD player on my computer, since we haven't had a DVD player for a while. I hit a bit of a wall when I was researching the TV; some of the tech was a little over my head.

When I bought this computer, a desktop, I did my homework - though rather than deep internet research, I consulted Tamsir. But I did make sure to get a fairly gigantic hard drive; even with 200+ movies and thousands of music files, it's only about 2/3 full after three years.

Only the Kindle is fairly basic, and only about three years old. I don't have much interest in a laptop or tablet, but I would like to upgrade to a Kindle Fire at some point.

But for now, I think I'm pretty content with my tech. It's kind of mind-bending, the things that have been created in my lifetime. I was born about a year before Alan Shepard became the first American in space, and watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, on a fuzzy black-and-white TV. My aunt worked for IBM for many years, and when I was a child, I visited her at work and got to see the "electronic brain," a computer that filled an entire room; in the 80s, I used CPM computer at work, with a tiny monochrome display, and then and IBM PC. I used the internet when it was only text with no pictures, and then finally had a color monitor and a mouse and a Mozilla browser. I briefly used a big clunky cell phone around 1998. I remember how thrilling it was to have a wireless home phone, after all those years of dragging wires around. I remember going from a manual to an electric typewriter. I remember my first VCR. It's all been so exciting. Such an amazing time to live through and in.

Also - my workplace had its holiday party on Saturday night, which was pretty fantastic. It was in Lucie's unspeakably beautiful home, a classic brownstone in Park Slope, tasteful and comfortable and just right. Barry actually came with me, enjoyed himself, and made a good impression. The pickled salmon I brought for the potluck went over big. We also had a silent auction, and Judy decided we'd bring our traveling crafts fair, and I sold over $100. (I've sold about $500 since the actual crafts fair.) About 50 people came to the party, and it was a big success. (The silent auction, which had a couple of high-ticket items, brought in a pile of money.)

Since the fundraising chairperson resigned, Judy's been the acting chair, and she pretty much indicated the other night that she and I and the wonderful Board member who coordinated the silent auction are pretty much going to be the fundraising team. I've been pointing myself at fundraising, and doing some good and hard work, and so have moved up. It's surprisingly pleasant and fulfilling to work diligently at this job - even more than when I was in book publicity. Some parts of book publicity were wonderful, but there were elements I didn't care for and wanted to avoid; there were days when I didn't want to go to work, especially after Ken left and was replaced with that witch. But nothing is dreadful at this job; nothing scares me or puts me off.

Interestingly, it seems that Barry is having a similar experience at his job. In fact, some of the people at the party were very impressed by what he does. (Even though it doesn't require much in the way of skills and experience to be hired, it's difficult to perform well; I think the job title, Client Care Counselor, sounds very impressive and both boosts Barry and also sounded very good to the people he spoke to on Saturday - our faculty and students are probably 85% from a social work background, and many of the students work in that field.)

Now, to attempt sleep once more.

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