The Nature of Sleep.

There was a recent article about a new chemical developed that would eliminate the need for sleep.  Used like a nasal decongestant, in animal trials it allowed sleep deprived monkeys to perform just as well as rested monkeys at cognitive tests.  Side effects appear minimal, especially compared to the alternatives (ex- amphetamines such as caffeine) already on the market.  Though it won't be ready for the mass market for at least another decade, the US government is looking towards this research with interest as a solution for pilots on long flights and other jobs that combine grueling hours and intense focus. 

Really?  I mean, really?  Is sleep such a bother?  


My dad, my chauffeur.

I grew up living in my grandparents house, because they lived down the street from my preschool.  Outside of my grans all adults were casual characters that I saw every once in awhile, when someone would pick me up from Gran's and drive me to this other house filled with adults and no toys.  Eventually, I was left there for days, and it dawned on me that this new place was home now.  It dawned on me that this person who drove me places was a parent and, inexplicably, I owned him.  He was my father. 

Most of my memories of dad involved a car.  My school was on the other side of town, so he was often roused at six thirty in the morning to take me to school when I missed the bus.  He dropped me off at Saturday marching rehearsals, and picked me up from after-school Science Olympiad.  He took me to study groups at Christy's house, and waited for me, car idling, when I ran into the library to pick up another source for my history paper.  He drove me to Fresno at  3 AM so that I could attend a "Visit the UCLA Campus!" workshop.  He loaded my things in the car and helped me move to my dorm Freshman year.  Six hour drive to Los Angeles, thirty minutes to unpack, six hour drive back to Stockton- he didn't even stay to have lunch.  

In his life he's tried the following professions: bus driver, semi truck driver, ice cream truck driver.  If the wheel was never invented my dad would be SOL. 

My sister's car is in the shop, and the BMW is on its last legs.  My dad's pick up failed to pass smog so many times that the state paid him one thousand dollars to stop driving it.  My car was considered most likely to survive a trip to my aunt's house this Christmas Eve, so I volunteered to drive.  As Patriarch, my father has never really experienced the freedom from responsibility that comes with not being the designated driver.  He really let loose: glasses of wine in one hand, bottles of Heineken in the other.  Drinks with appetizers, dinner, and dessert.  That evening I poured my dad into the back seat and the rest of our family of five squeezed in around him.  As I'm heading to the freeway, my dad picks his head up from mom's shoulder and says, "Ahhouy, you driving right now, I feel good.  I feel very good about this."  

Me too dad.  



I was really proud of how well I was getting around Los Angeles.  I began to develop a reputation as the go-to gal for directions anywhere.  You know, the person they pass the cell phone to when someone is lost.  

I am back in Stockton, my home town.  I spent eighteen years of my life cutting class here, staying out past curfew here, generally being a wild and crazy kid running the streets here.  So why is it that whenever I step foot outside of the house I  can't find my way to the local Podesto's?  



My wallet, it was found!  I received a very nice letter in the mail from someone who didn't want to leave it with the restaurant.  I am picking it up tomorrow!  Yay!  


The Other Shoe

Over the past ten years or so, I have had maybe 50 Lost Wallet scares.  I've never actually lost my wallet until now.  

As losing wallets go, it wasn't too bad.  It was after a long and full day of pedicures, shopping and farmer's market lunching.  I am relieved that I no longer carry my green card in my wallet- that could have potentially been disastrous.  I am relieved that I did not have my social security card on me- that could have really screwed up my plans for the immediate future.  I canceled my debit card and my one credit card within thirty minutes of its loss, so no identity theft or card fraud.  All I really lost were my two student ID cards (for which I would have had no use after December 14) and about $45 in cash.  Even the cash thing didn't bother me too bad.  Probably because I had accidentally parked my car an hour past the time we paid for on the Venice meters and we didn't get a ticket (practically impossible, especially on Sunday Farmer's Market).  

Besides, I was in too good a mood.  You would be too if you spent part of your day doing this: