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BlearghSeptember 1, 2005

I knew I said I wasn't going to write, but hey! Here I am! A brand new hormonal thing this year, along with the migraines, is a monthly bout of serious insomnia. It only lasts one or two days, but while I am not the best sleeper any time of the month, this new insomnia is rough. I got about two hours last night and three tonight.

It's not that kind of insomnia you can soothe, either. I've become pretty good with the reg'lar kind -- read for a while, or have a cup of tea, and not stress out, just drift back to sleep eventually. But this kind, the brain is ON! Hello! I'm your brain! I have approximately four thousand seventy-two new ideas to throw at you, and I know you can't remember a damn thing, so I'm going to yell them at you over and over until you turn on the light to write them down, and then a-HA! You're up! Let's play! The brain likes coffee! Coffee, please?

So it's 0530, and I'm all packed and ready to go camping and Lala and Bethany won't be here until 8am. Honestly, I don't really mind. I mind more when I have to DO things, like work. I'm not too concerned with being drowsy around the campsite. Lovely.

Have I mentioned I love Oakland? I hella heart Oakland. When I woke up at this time yesterday, I got up and went shopping at the best store in town, which is open 24 hours: Longs Drugs on 51st. You wouldn't think so, huh? But I've blogged about it before: You can get EVERYTHING there. It's HUGE. Yesterday I needed nice heavyweight paper and a new print cartridge -- they had the right stuff, down to the cartridge number. I found a cute orange tank top over in the clothing section. They sell alcohol, furniture, plants, fabric, and YARN, people. They carry Indian spices and huge water fountains. Over by the indoor plant area, birds flap about under the roof -- they get in during the day, and they nest up there. No one seems to mind, which is nice, I think. I got Mom an inflatable bed for her tent in the camping aisle. I think I spent an hour and a happy half there.

Two women passed me at about 6:30am over by the shoe aisle. One said, very concerned-like, "You didn't know? You really didn't know? Oh, honey. I'm sorry. Once you know about this store, you're doomed." Her friend's eyes were huge. lt's kind of an addiction. I call it my midnight Disneyland.

Yawn. Now that I've both given and got up, and now that I've had my coffee, I'm a little sleepy. Figgers.

One more thing: I usually wash my one running bra by hand (that new one from Title 9 just shipped, thank god). I've done this for quite a long time. I would seriously love to know just how long I've been missing a wire. Dude. One boob has wire, the other doesn't. Where did it go? Why the hell haven't I noticed? Did I run the half-marathon that way? I must have. Will I be able to get over this and still run in it, or will I run in small circles, now that I know? This is something I lie in bed wondering about.

Happy long weekend! Woot! (Also, watch me enable Jeni. Heh. Ignore the incredible double-chin shot, though.)


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Good morning! I'm sorry about the insomnia. I deal with that too. Mostly it's just the wide awake kind you described, but too often it's the brain on overdrive and that's just miserable. On the rare ocaission I catch it early enough, I take a xanax (.25mg). It's as if a switch in my head just gets turned off; the dialogue stops and I can get some good sleep. If it's too late to do that, I move to the couch for a bit and that seems to help.

have a great time on your trip!

I need to start shopping for good running bras. And I *heart* title nine.

well I must be taking what ever sleep you aren't using. I've been in bed by 5pm the last 2 nites.. up at 8pm for 2 hrs and then solid through the nite. Sorry. I promise to return it.

I love the idea of running in little circles. My center of gravity is all around the boobage too. Have a fun vacay.

Honey, you're even funnier when you're hopped up on No Sleep (small consolation as you gradually go mad, but a treat for your faithful if slightly sadistic readers). Happy camping! Have lots of naps.

It gets me too, that evil insomnia thing. Then the next day I feel like I'm swimming through liquid lead. Have you tried Origins "To Sleep Perchance to Dream"? There's gel to rub on your temples and pillow spray. Sometimes that helps me. Have a great trip!

ROFL... run in circles? That's too funny.

Also, if you seriously can't sleep sometimes - do a little reading on an herb called Valerian. It's a root that is supposed to relax you. It's stronger than Melatonin. But I warn you now - it's smells like belly button cheese. I'm so not kidding.

Have much fun at the festival!

I feel your pain re: big Long's! It's my favorite store and I love those birdies :)

My husband had a similar sense of amazement the first time I took him to Giant Longs, which used to be something else, which used to be PayLess. My mom would take us there almost every weekend. Giant Safeway for food, PayLess for plants and shampoo and other random crap.


New printer cartridge and heavy paper? I think I know what that might be about. :)


The Long's on 51st street has a special place in my heart, from the Monday I picked up emergency knitting needles there when Article Pract was closed. (How dare they *ever* be closed? The nerve!)

Just make sure you don't move too far away from a Longs - the withdrawal is BRUTAL. You will find yourself, MONTHS after you left California, thinking "oh, I'll just get all that at Longs." And when it hits you that no, you'll really have to go to 17 different stores because you moved 3000 miles away from longs like a dimwit, you'll want to cry. And then you'll remember that you ALSO have given up the best organic farmer's market you've ever found. And just when you think you can't miss California any more, the temperature will drop to 20 degrees, and you'll realize that there isn't parking anywhere near the stores you have to get to.

{sigh} - Longs. :)

Everything maeve just said. I've had several "oh, I can just get all of those at long's-- wait, no" moments in the weeks since I moved.

erin's right, though: your insomnia makes for great reading!

You're missing one wire? Too weird. Guess that means it's a great bra even sans wire, otherwise one of your girls would be flopping about... Speaking of running bras, recommendation please? I've been looking for a better, more supportive/constricting thing for the yoga. Which I know isn't running. But there's bouncing involved.

Rachael, only 1 good running bra???? I think you need 3 or 4. I love Title 9 for sports bras too. Actually you just reminded me that I need to order a new one.

And I am sure that you will catch up on your sleep.

WHAT? Where? 51st and what? Open after afternoon shift? You don't mean the walgreens across from Article Pract, do you? Enlighten me, oh night shift insomniac goddess.

I went to Long's in January while visiting family in Antioch. I kept squealing and embarassing my cousin. I think we were in there for 2 hours. You are one funny girl when you are sleep deprived. I love your double chin photo, although I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't said anything - your smile is so sunny! Have a great trip...

51st and Broadway -- where the Safeway is, and the Emil Villa's used to be. Hang a right on 51st by Article Pract and drive about six blocks. The place is GIGANTIC; bigger than any Longs I have ever seen and it has every single freaking thing you could need in the wee hours of the morning.

Come back! I miss you!

I have had the same problem with migraines and insomnia now that I am approaching menopause. In some ways the insomnia was worse than the migraines. Like you said, I woke up alert and anxious. Much worse my life-long run-of-the-mill insomnia where I can be calm and relaxed if not asleep. Have really managed it with low-dose birth control pills. Since I was getting headaches each month when I was in the off-week for the pills, I switched to the pills where you only get one off-week every three months. Still sometimes get a headache when I would be getting my period but am not because of the pills, but it is much more managable. Strange to be a 48 year old Lesbian on birth control, but it works! Good luck!

re: hormonal related brain-amped-up:

been there, done that, got the t-shirt, still don't know how to get rid of it.

it happens every couple months to me. I can predict what WEEK it's likely to happen, but it doesn't always happen, so it's not like I can plan for it and grab extra sleep beforehand (and for that matter, I don't have time to grab any more sleep than I'm getting).

the few things that help somewhat:

light deprivation: starting about 7 pm or so begin turning down the lights, make it darker and darker. Don't watch tv, don't work or play on the computer: backlight screens are your enemy right now.

talk deprivation: I find if I keep the tv off and only play non-vocal music, and don't talk on the phone or talk to other people, I get less amped-up. That may be just me, I'm one of those extreme introverts who finds human contact exhausting and overstimulating.

no caffeine, ever. Limit sugar as much as possible. Consume more low-fat protein. eliminate as much "junk" or processed food as possible.

warm baths with clary sage and rosemary bath salts (I think rosemary is the second ingredient - it's Bath and Body Works "Stress Relief" big-chunky-salt soak that they sell. Seriously, it's the ONLY thing that makes me sleepy sometimes. I hope they don't quit making it.)

you have some really cool stuff at your site. i'm sure gonna come back here. think that will make relief: http://www.grandonline.com , black girls on their mission

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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