Sleep Pattern 2/15-16/12
Well each night is a little different

Not sure what to make of this sleep pattern thing. I’m hoping, as I get used to this sleep schedule, that the sleep pattern should become more uniform from night to night. Dunno if I’ll ever make it there.

Anyway, today I’m gonna keep it short, because hopefully I’ll have a new radio show to post tomorrow night. Also, Ghost Rider is tonight, hopefully I can find parking.

See ya’ll later.

Still tired

Sleep Report for 2/14-15/2012
What do you make of that?

I don’t recall any dreams from last night, but if that chart is to be believed, I still got a lot of REM sleep. Of course, how accurate can an app on my phone really be?

I do know that I don’t feel like I got enough sleep last night. Went to bed after heavy discussions of finance, which itself came after a 1.5 hour commute. There has to be a way to cut that commute down. It’s starting to get to me. Today, I’m either going to stay in San Mateo and find something to do here, or I’m going to get some BBQ in Alameda. Either way, I don’t think I’m going to make it home before it gets dark.

I think I am starting to see some patterns in the traffic. If it’s slow on the bay bridge, stay in the right lane as you approach the toll plaza, but then be sure to move back to the fastrak lane quick before you get stuck behind some asshole who needs a receipt.

One thing that happened last night that might have contributed to my lack of sleep was I got an idea for a story. It’s not ready to share yet, but it might be this website’s first attempt at fiction. It also has potential to be some kind of web video series, that is if I can get my shit together and actually write the thing, and that assumes that after it’s written it’s any good, and then that assumes that it’s good enough to attract talent and probably funding. Lot of assumptions it might not live up to, but we’ll see.

I also saw a couple posts turned chain letters yesterday that I might take a stab at. The first was started by Film Crit Hulk and can be found here: This was followed by Quint on Aint It Cool News:

I’ll get around to mine sometime in the future.

Speaking of movies, I’m going to try to catch a preview screening of Ghost Rider™: Spirit of Vengeance tomorrow night. It’ll be the first film I’ve seen since starting this blog, so IT WILL BE THE FIRST FILM REVIEW. I’m not certain it’s deserving, or maybe my blog isn’t deserving of that film. WE’LL SEE.

The other chain letter thing isn’t really a chain letter yet, but it will be after I’m done with it. I hope. Fishamaphone’s post on Angel Moxie really does something I wish to do with this blog, but haven’t achieved yet. Hopefully I can compliment his piece with one of my own, and maybe that might even inspire others to follow our lead. Angel Moxie and The Venis Board were both a big part of my life for a long time. It’s kind of fallen out of fashion, and isn’t the popular place it once was, but it’s still my home page. I’d love for it to return to it’s former glory, but that’s probably not realistic. In any case, it’s worth writing about.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Until later.

Catching up on my links

Stuff from yesterday I didn’t get to read because I only had a little bit of time.

Since I plan to write about music on this blog, and some of that music is bound to be made by women, I thought it might be a good idea to read this. Thankfully, I don’t think I have to worry too much. I don’t really plan on talking about any of the things mentioned in that article.

I’m fond of this one, even if I’ve never done it.

The major point I want to make about this article is that I want to see the Ghibli retrospective when it comes to the bay area. That is, all of it. Be there or be square.

I hold strong on the idea that film is dead, and it’s only because of articles like this that I worry about my position. And what’s worst about it, there is no solution ahead. Nobody has figured out this problem. This requires a lot of people with big brains to come up with a solution that those with no brains can all agree on. Good luck at that.

What, it’s a video? Fuck that shit. I can’t be watching videos of Mike Krukow. I’m sure I’ll be seeing too much of him once the season starts back up. I saved this link out of some concern that maybe Brian Wilson wasn’t going to come back this year, or that he’s got some new trick up his sleeve. As much as I like the beard, I think it’s time Brian Wilson got rid of it. They lost last year, get something new going.

Wow. I can’t abide these professions that don’t allow you to sleep when you need to, that work is more important than living your life.

I think the next bit of optical equipment I buy will be something by Lensbaby. Maybe not this thing, but I wanna play with focus in new ways. I want to have more fun taking pictures.

This talk of pictures makes me want to post a photo post next. I’ll start with some old photos, I think.

Or maybe not. We’ll see how I feel at lunch/end of the day.

Valentine’s day is for suckers

Or not, I don’t really care. I’ll take candy from you, if you’re offering.

Couple years ago, Valentine’s Day came along and I thought I’d make a radio show about it. This was back when I still used the computer voice. Some day I’ll remaster these shows with my actual voice, better encodes, etc. For now, it’s fine though.

Also in these shows, special guest Tim O’Donnel. He came up with some good bits on the subject. Enjoy them.

First in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the negative viewpoint. Because, love sucks. Right? Features Tim! and Alex Macintosh.

Show #2 in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the positive viewpoint. Because, love is a good thing. Right? Features Tim! and Alex Macintosh.

Show #3 in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the viewpoint that love is only in our heads. Because, what isn’t really. Right? Features Penn Jillette, Hellen Fisher, and Tim! with Alex Macintosh.

Show #4 in a series of shows about Love, this one takes the viewpoint that love is important to world society as a whole. Because, if only we could let more love in and out of our hearts, everything would be better. Right? Features Alex Macintosh.

Mixcloud is where I’m hosting these shows, so you’ll need flash to play them from here. If you’re on an iDevice such as an iPhone or iPad, there is an official mixcloud app.

I’m an extremely fussy bastard

Sleep Report for 2/12-2/13 2012
My sleep patterns are changing.

Any word on if this is a good chart or not? Interestingly, I do remember dreaming before waking up. It’s a little too far in the past to share the dream, but it had some interesting elements. I’m just unable to remember them. OH WELL.

So, what I really wanted to talk about this morning was my eating habits. I suspect this will be a reoccurring theme for this blog. People who know me know that I am very fussy. Fussy to a fault. When trying to decide on a restaurant to go to, it’s always a disaster if I’m coming along. I’d probably be happier if I didn’t have to eat anything at all.

Almost at odds with this, however, I do enjoy food. I like my food cooked well, with interesting flavors and good ingredients. I like to know what goes into my food, I like to know how it’s cooked. I want to be able to cook the foods I like most myself. Since the foods I like are somewhat limited, this is actually an achievable goal.

My mother went to culinary school before I was born, and she has always been very good at cooking. It’s really a shame I’m so fussy, because I don’t get to enjoy most of the foods she makes. My cousin also went to culinary school, and she told me about the concept of a supertaster.

I’m not 100% scientifically certain if I’m actually a supertaster, but it would make a lot of sense if I were. From the wiki article on this subject:

Specific food sensitivities

Although individual food preference for supertasters cannot be typified, documented examples for either lessened preference or consumption include:

That list is very much in line with my food dislikes. The only way I’ll drink alcohol, coffee, and soda is if it is heavily diluted with some sort of sugar. I’ve never in my whole life been able to eat a brussel sprout or spinnach. I’m not particularly fond of any soy product (I don’t even like tofu unless it has been soaking in a soup to absorb it’s flavors). Oh and I don’t like most soups either.

I’m aware that the taste alone is not a good enough excuse for me not eating more of the foods above. There are other complex elements in this foodie equation. Mouth feel is another big factor in whether or not I’ll like a food. If it’s mushy, or mealy, or particularly fatty, I’m more likely to spit it out than swallow it. I don’t like any fish or other sea food. I have a strong dislike for meat I have to pick off a bone. The flavors alone do not justify my dislike for these foods, it has to be psychological.

I imagine some of it has to do with my upbringing. I have often been told the story of my mother trying to feed me vegetable baby food, only to spit it all out at her. She could only take so much of that before giving up, I suppose. I often hear stories from people who don’t share my finicky tastes about how their mothers put food in front of them and expected them to eat it–if they didn’t eat it, they didn’t eat. Not the case with me. Can I blame my parents for not wanting to starve me when I refused to eat the foods that were good for me?

And now that I’ve lived so long with these taste preferences, it’s even harder to change them. I’m far too set in my ways.

But it’s not too late. Maybe I can learn to like things. That will be part of the adventure that is this blog.

Later today: at lunch time, I plan on going to the Safeway near work to try and find something I can eat for lunch throughout the week. Sounds like an adventure already.

Sunday #1

So it’s the end of the first week of this blog. I think it went pretty well as far as first weeks go. I do think I need a break from it, at least one day, so I didn’t post anything on Saturday. I also feel like Sunday should be more time to unwind.

But I can’t just abandon the blog for two whole days.

So why not, on Sunday, reflect a bit on how the previous week went? Things I would have liked to do, but didn’t get around to. Things I still have plans to do. Ideas for the coming week. Stuff like that. But I still want to relax. Case in point, I’m writing this from my bathtub.

Posting in the bathtub
I'll try to keep this website worksafe

So let’s get to it.

The biggest thing in my life last week had to have been my starting a new job. Things are somewhat fast-paced at the San Mateo DMV, but my lack of training and experience allows me to ignore that for the most part. Frankly, I don’t like not knowing what to do, so having to ask for help makes me uncomfortable. I can’t wait to start my training so that I’ll actually be useful to the branch. Until then, I guess I’ll have to be satisfied doing ‘easy’ stuff.

I must say, it’s nice to not need to ask permission to go on breaks, or to lunch, or to quit for the day. Live by the clock and don’t worry about anything else. You’re owed that time, and anything extra costs extra. Puts my mind as so much more ease than working freelance web design, or working for a friend on their iPhone application, or working on a film set 16 hours a day or longer.

A recent episode of Inside The Actors Studio with George Clooney gave me hope that not every film set is the tense, dreary, exhausting mess that has been my experience in the industry, but I don’t think I’m cut out to be on the bottom of that ladder. It’s easy for George to say, ‘I never want to work like that,’ but that’s because he’s George Clooney. At the bottom, I had no right to make that statement, so here I am working at the DMV.

I only hope that it’s not an irreversible decision.

What else happened this week? I tried to go to a movie, and failed, but that’s okay, got to have a meal in Japantown instead.

Did some more work for Tom yesterday. His app, fitness buddy, recently upgraded to 2.0 for the iPhone, as well as launched for android, and you can see a lot of my work in that app, photos and videos. For the amount of time I put into it, it’s only fair for me to plug it here. More on that process in the future, maybe.

What did I not do this week? I didn’t really write anything long or serious, it was all train of thought blogging. I reviewed an album, but I’d like to do better than that in the future.

I didn’t post a new radio show, or any real photography. I did post a video, but it was kind of shaky and haphazardly thrown together. I can do better.

I have the house to myself, but instead of using that privacy to make a radio show I’m taking a bath. Not a total loss, but I can’t get into this habit.

For now, the radio shows are probably this website’s best feature, and I haven’t even posted one yet! Not good. I’ll need to get on that.

On a somewhat related note, went down this week due to an accounting error. The site was close to being completely redone, and now all that work is gone. Thankfully, I had nothing to do with these problems, but they’re going to be a pain to overcome.

So, coming soon, a new radio show, a hopefully more thought out review, and some photography.

See you tomorrow.


Sleeping chart for Feb. 9-10
Last night's sleep activity

How long does it take for the average person to fall asleep?

I have this app on my phone that is supposed to keep track of my sleep state, so that it doesn’t wake me up when I’m in a deep sleep. I don’t really understand it.

First of all, it seems to wake me up when I’m in what it calls REM sleep. How does it figure I’m in REM sleep when it’s only got an accelerometer and a microphone to make measurements? And doesn’t REM sleep mean I’m dreaming? Is it easiest to wake up when you’re dreaming?

If that chart is to be believed, then I am dreaming through most of the night there, but I don’t really remember any of it. Maybe I should start trying to remember dreams and share them here. I can’t really claim to have interesting dreams, though. I don’t even have bad dreams. I can count the number of nightmares I’ve had since I was eight years old on one hand. I’ve had some, let’s say, weird dreams since then, but every time I do I can usually attribute it to my body warning me from sleeping in a poor position. When I sleep on my arm and pinch a nerve, that’s when I get a weird dream to get me out of that position. Maybe that’s why it’s easiest to wake up during REM sleep.

I don’t know if I snore or not, but it’s likely since everyone in my family does. The paid version of this app I use is supposed to be able to record the noises you make, but I’m not interested in paying a dollar for that feature. It works well enough at not sounding an alarm when I’m in a deep sleep.

If I try to break it down, what happened when I was younger to lift that bad dream burden? The story I like to tell is that around that time, I was taken to a pow wow, and my native American neighbor bought me a dream catcher. I hung it near my bed and I haven’t had a serious bad dream in over 15 years.

That’s a true story, and it’s a cute idea, but come on. Dream catchers don’t do anything (not that I don’t still keep it near my bed). So what really happened? Did the dream catcher give me a sense of security? A sort of placebo effect? Or maybe I was at an age where bad dreams were less common anyway. Or, most likely, I had finally been media saturated enough that dreams really didn’t matter. That’s kind of a sad way to look at it. It’s more fun to just trust in the dream catcher.

As for not getting enough sleep, or just laying in bed for a half hour to an hour trying to sleep, I probably should just be more active. Physical exercise, genuine fatigue, should be the reason I’m tired, not just because I had to wake up early that day.

Thanks to this blog, I’ve been waking up consistently every day. Maybe sometime soon it will even feel normal to be awake before the sun rises. Hard to say.

Sleep is interesting though.

You’re lookin’ swell, Dolly

It says that at the top of the dashboard. Hello Dolly is actually a pretty good movie.

So, as I feared, working full-time greatly reduces the amount of time I have to watch stuff/play stuff/do anything other than go to work and go home. I’m not really complaining, at least not yet, but it means I don’t have a whole lot new to write about here.

Let’s see… I got home last night, watched an episode of Perry Mason with my folks, and then we watched the new episode of Nature, which was all about raccoons. I was starting to fall asleep by the end of it, but the gist of the program seemed to be that raccoons are pretty smart, they’re everywhere, they don’t travel very far, they got hands…

Oh and they’re destroying Japanese temples that have lasted for thousands of years without them.

You see, in the late 70s, there was a TV anime called Rascal the Raccoon. This show put the idea in people’s heads that having a raccoon for a pet was a good idea, and they were imported for this purpose. But people didn’t realize that raccoons stopped being cute when they grew up, and were prone to bite and scratch. So, discarded, the raccoons thrived in a new environment where their only natural predator is the automobile. These ancient temples have a zero tolerance for the creatures, and they’re all killed if caught.

So the show seemed to say that the animals were getting smarter, and like very much living among humans. So that’s fun. Look forward to your future raccoon overlords. Maybe that’s what the 2012 Mayan prophecy is really all about.

This is getting harder every day

A high speed chase ended at the exit I use to go to work. I guess, at least, it’s better because it happened in the middle of the night.

Seems like you rarely hear about high speed chases involving Volvos. Apparently the car rolled several times, and the guy survived with minor injuries. I guess if you have to be in a high speed chase, why not do it in one of those excessively safe European cars. Just seems like it’d be embarrassing when they arrest you.

Forgot to bring my laptop today, good thing my phone does most of the tasks I require.

If I’m going to keep coming to this Starbucks every day, I should see about getting one of those gold card things. What’s the deal with that? You have to spend a certain amount? Every month or what?

Speaking of coffee, I’ve always had this problem where caffeine doesn’t quite wake me up or keep me awake. In fact I suspect it even makes me more tired sometimes. What’s up with that? If that is the case, does anybody else recommend any caffeine alternatives? Anybody who recommends 5 Hour Energy is getting stabbed in the eyes.

Sorry if I’m a little cranky. This sleep situation is catching up with me. I’ve always had this problem where I can’t force myself to sleep, especially when it’s important that I do so. Anyone have any tricks for fixing that?

It occurs to me that this whole website is rather self-centered. I guess, to a certain extent, it needs to be, but maybe that doesn’t make for the most interesting posts. Conundrums. I’ll continue to try and improve. At this stage, I think it’s more important that I keep writing regularly than what I actually write about. When I rebuild my writing skills, then I can worry about making posts interesting.

More to come later, for now, I gotta go to work.