Hey, fun fact: Yesterday was World Sleep Day.

Good news: (a) I found an herbal sleep aid that I hope will help me sleep tonight, (b) I ordered an orthopedic pillow and a sleep mask that I also hope will help me sleep once they arrive in a few days, and (c) I think I have a bedtime strategy to minimize my phone app use and hopefully get me fast asleep before Mr. Buzzsaw gets to bed.

Bad news: I am spending a very precious Saturday off (a) obsessing how to improve my sleep quality going forward, (b) enraged over the fact that I have to do this at all, (c) locked in my office so I don’t take my rage out on the rest of the household, and (d) wishing I had spent the early afternoon shoveling out the home office – instead of driving all over the Western Suburbs so I don’t take my rage out on the rest of the household – so I can sleep in it if my sleep strategy effort fails.

Also, my brain is tired and feels stretched thin, and I’m exceedingly cranky. Otherwise, I’m doing great.

My Fitbit tells me how well I sleep, and even provides a “sleep score” to rate my quality of sleep. Each night, my sleep varies from “good” to, usually, “fair.” Last night was so bad (I logged 5 hours and 45 minutes, detected within that time as fully awake once and restless 12 times), I didn’t even rate a score.

There are several factors involved here:

  • Revenge bedtime procrastination.” (This is on me, and I’m trying to replace scrolling with deep breathing, with limited success so far.)
  • My once- or twice-nightly need to pee. (Thanks, bariatric doctor-prescribed diuretic.)
  • The spouse’s buzzsaw-level snoring.
  • The aging dog’s need to go downstairs to pee or drink by (usually) 5:30 a.m. or so.

My bariatric doctor says quality sleep is important to my weight loss effort. So, I’m especially and acutely interested these days in ensuring I sleep well. And it’s clear that my sleep quality, mitigating factors notwithstanding, is purely my responsibility.

I added a melatonin/herbal blend supplement to this weekend’s Target pickup order. Desperate to get some decent sleep through the night.

Just arrived, bought directly from the record label months ago.

You would think this drawing alone would have nudged me to get serious about losing weight.

The New York Times reports:

“Stop AAPI Hate said in its report that some of the people who reported hate incidents said they were spat at or coughed on. One person, a Pacific Islander, reported that while speaking Chamorro at a Dallas mall a woman coughed and said, ‘You and your people are the reason why we have corona.’ She then said, ‘Go sail a boat back to your island,’ according to the group.

“Chinese people composed the largest ethnic group (42.2 percent) that reported experiencing hate events, followed by Koreans, Vietnamese and Filipinos.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. This “cover” (not quite, what with Roger Daltrey on vocals) seemed silly at first, but then the Chieftains ripped into the instrumental ending beautifully.

There’s a few things I probably should write about, except they’re topics on which I have nothing elegant or useful to say. Some of these topics are either too painful for me personally or I don’t know enough about them or what to think about them – but they’re on my mind. I just think the public discourse is probably best without my gut reactions on such things.

Freshened up the “About This Site” and “About Me” pages, just for the hell of it.

It’s half past 11 p.m., and I’m thinking about pizza and Tibetan food in Montmartre, listening to a British ska mix on YouTube, and desperately wanting a better sleep score on my Fitbit for tomorrow.

Despite my best efforts — and a cup of lavender tea before bed — I remain cooped up in a restless sense of nostalgia that I can’t shake. Time to turn on the White Noise app and attempt to call it a night.

After at least a couple of weeks of snow-free weather — even a few downright balmy days when the icy mounds surrounding our house finally melted away — this happened.

Eve Tushnet, on today’s news out of the Vatican: “The Church can guide our loves. But nobody’s gonna trust Her if Catholics focus on protecting doctrines and ignore the need to defend people. Jesus defended the woman taken in adultery before he said anything at all to her … this is the right order of priorities.”

The losing battle, Week 9: Another week, another pound

Down another pound, despite a day or two of inadvertently going over my 100-gram carb limit. This means a grand total, so far, of 23.6 pounds lost since January 11. That’s 8.3 percent lost. Feel free to do the math.

Losing a whole person’s worth of weight takes time. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Off kefir in the mornings for a while; I found myself queasy and feeling loaded down after having my usual breakfast smoothie. Opting for almond milk with the other smoothie ingredients instead, plus a boiled egg chaser for the protein. Feeling no discomfort as a result.

I also need to figure out how to recalibrate the Fitbit. The past couple of days, I logged nearly 4,000 steps daily – not much for most people, but a lot for me – and I know I wasn’t quite that active.

I ❤️ Daylight Saving Time.

Found that painting some new ornaments for our all-season tree (more on that later) helped me with my Saturday funk.

Between today and last weekend’s pre-birthday gloom, at least I’m starting to get better with managing my moods.

Kitty’s first boiled eggs.


Still feeling unsettled. Can’t decide if it’s because I took my meds later in the day than usual. Grazing more than I usually do, albeit with slightly healthier things (cheese stick, avocado and milk, boiled egg) than I might have eaten three months ago.

Beautiful day in greater Chicagoland. It’s a shame I’m a little scattered and off so far today.

TIL Maryland is in the Big Ten Conference now. 🤨 Thanks, Juwan Howard, for getting tossed from a game last night and generating headlines involving Maryland in the Big 10 Conference.

Finally got around to registering for a COVID-19 vaccination after I read this Washington Post article about obesity qualifying some folks for the vaccine. Turns out I’m eligible now for vaccination here in Illinois by virtue of my fatness. Yay, I guess?

The fact that obesity is a COVID-19 comorbidity factor is a big reason I’ve placed myself under a bariatric doctor’s care now, so I’m certainly grateful for qualifying. (Really, it was the tipping point for me in my decision.) That said, I’m also fine with waiting in line — at least I have the relative luxury of being able to work from home and self-isolate more than most — while others who need it more get the vaccine.

A particularly stressful day at work yesterday had me thinking about whether stress affects weight loss. If this article is any indication, the answer is yes.

So, rather than stay up late for work last night, I went to bed at my usual time. Got the best sleep I’ve had in days. Hope I don’t regret it as the work day begins.