Search

Your Own Back Yard – Michael Gillan Maxwell

Visual Art – Creative Writing – Social Commentary

Tag

humor

My Struggle Is Real

SPARKLING MIKE

Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have each expressed their belief that Artificial Intelligence may be the most dangerous existential threat to the survival of the human race. For decades, Artificial Intelligence has been depicted in science fiction, television and film. Sometimes it’s a benevolent presence, like R2D2 and 3CPO in Star Wars, Data in Star Trek or Rags the dog in Woody Allen’s “Sleeper.” However, more often than not Artificial Intelligence lurks as a menacing and darkly malevolent force in films like 2001- A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, as well as in television series like Battlestar Glactica.

Who can forget this classic showdown between man and machine in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001- A Space Odyssey.

Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Dave: What’s the problem?

HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

Dave: What are you talking about, HAL?

My own troubled history with AI dates back as far as I can recall. It begins with me trying and failing to draw a diagonal line on an Etch-A-Sketch that only drew vertical and horizontal lines. Then there was the very first video game “Pong.” It was a game of virtual ping pong which consisted of a dot bouncing back and forth across the television screen. Hours of good, clean late night stoner fun. But I couldn’t even get that right. Got crushed each time I played. Do I even have to mention “The Clapper?” Lately my dysfunctional relationships with AI include contentious exchanges between me and the disembodied androgynous voices emanating from my GPS and my vehicle’s Blue Tooth interface. Also now I have both Alexa and Siri to contend with. I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel like having a conversation with my devices every time I turn around. That super perky upbeat cheerfulness is just too much in these nihilistic times, especially before I’ve had my coffee.

Today I burned up an hour of what’s left of my mortal existence on this planet trying to convince a series of robot overlords that I need to speak with an actual human being in customer service to schedule an appointment. It’s like passing through the Seven Circles Of Hell, the Bardo and Purgatory just to get another sentient being on the other end of the line. Today’s interaction involved a protracted struggle just to utter a simple phrase a robot would comprehend.

Robot: “Thank you for contacting customer service. You can talk to me like a real person. Ask me anything. For example, you can say “How much credit do I have available? When is my next payment due? Do you wanna dance under the moonlight?

Me: “I need to speak with a customer service representative.”

 Lots of background noise, whirring, clicking and popping as if somebody is typing a transcript of my request.

Robot: “I’m sorry. I did not understand you. Ask me anything. For example, you can say: “How can I buy the entire boxed DVD set of Battlestar Galactica? Do you know the way to San Jose?”

Me: ” I need to speak with a customer service representative.”

 More popping, clicking, buzzing, whirring, typing noises.

And so, on and on we went, until I was a jibbering idiot barking out monosyllabic commands like a drunk calling out for more whiskey at closing time.

Robot: “I’m sorry. I did not understand you. Let me connect you to a Customer Service representative. This call may be monitored.”

Customer Service Representative: “Hello. This is Mathew. For security purposes, what is your Service Contract number?”

Me: I recite an unintelligibly long string of alpha numeric code.

Customer Service Representative: “I’m sorry, but that contract has expired.”

Me: “No. There must be some mistake. I have the Service Contract right here in front of me and it doesn’t expire for another six weeks. May I please speak with a supervisor?”

Customer Service Representative: “Absolutely. Please wait while I transfer your call.”

Five minutes of waiting while insipid music blasts the shit out of my ear drum.

Customer Service Robot Supervisor: “Thank you for contacting customer service. You can talk to me like a real person. Ask me anything. For example, you can say “How much credit do I have available? When is my next payment due? Do you wanna dance under the moonlight?

 ME: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

HAL: I’m sorry, Mike. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

ROCK N ROLL BOT

Drive-By Self Interview Book Review “So Sad Today” Melissa Broder

MGM’s Drive-By Self Interview Book Review of “So Sad Today” by Melissa Broder

front-cover

Q.     How much did you love this book?

A.     I loved it with the intensity of a thousand blazing suns.

 Q.     To whom would you recommend it?

A.     Curious readers with a capacity for self examination, an appreciation for existential absurdity, willingness to experience things from a deeply personal perspective other than their own and any reader who loves poetic prose and damn good writing.

 Q.     What did you learn from reading “So Sad Today?”

A.     How everyone we meet is fighting their own personal battles, inner demons and hidden insecurities, no matter how much it appears they may have their shit together. Also how little I know about Twitter and that I’m a really lame tweeter. I also learned some texting shorthand, although I had to Google some of it. I also realized that I am sexually repressed Catholic schoolboy.

Q.     Would you compare Melissa Broder’s style as an essayist to any other authors whose work you enjoy reading?

A.     I like David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson (“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”) for similar reasons. I think Melissa Broder is a brilliant humorist and a keen observer of human nature and commentator on social norms with a stunning command of the English language. She pulls no punches and writes with astonishing candor.   

Q.     You’ve been described as a gushing fanboy. How do you feel about that?

A.     I am absolutely, without a doubt, 100% a gushing fanboy. I totally OWN that shit. As a middle-aged, mediocre monogamous white male, I might be a bit of an outlier from the rest of her fan base, but that’s never stopped me before from going out on a limb. A limb that may snap at any moment, and send me crashing to the cold, hard ground.

Q.     Why are YOU so sad today?

A.     Because I finished reading “So Sad Today.” NOW what the Hell am I supposed to do?     

Q.     How would you describe “So Sad Today”?

A.     I am a raging adjective/adverb abuser in recovery, with a touch of OCD, but here are a few descriptors off the top of my head. I had listed one for each year of my life in alphabetical order in two columns, but WordPress doesn’t DO that kind of formatting, and now I’m REALLY so sad today! Damn it Jim! I’m a DOCTOR not a code writer!

acerbic       addictive          beautiful          brilliant            brutally honest   candor     compassionate      compelling       courageous      creative     dead on      dead serious       delightful   erotic   excavation       excoriation       existential     exorcism    experimental extraordinary   fascinating  funny  genius  happy  heartbreaking  hilarious    hot      humanistic       humane   humble    humorous   hungry    imaginative  in-your-face     insightful     inspiring          instructive       intense    interesting      off -beat    off -kilter   painful   playful    poetic      poignant           provocative     redeeming        resilient      revealing      sad   seductive   self-effacing     sexy     spiritual  straight-up  strong  thought-provoking     titillating   trenchant  truthful  uncommon  unflinching   unique  uplifting  voyeuristic   witty

Q.     We’re just about out of time. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

A.     Yeah. What are you doing just sitting there? Go out and get this book and read the Hell out of it. Then, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll go out and buy any and all of her four poetry books you can get your hands on because  that’s EXACTLY what I’m going to do.

About the Author:

Melissa Broder is the author of four poetry collections:  LAST SEXT (Tin House, 2016), and MEAT HEARTWHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER. She is also the author of the essay collection, SO SAD TODAY (Grand Central, March 2016). Poems appear in POETRY, The Iowa ReviewTin House, Guernica, FenceThe Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square ReviewRedivider, Court GreenThe Awl, Drunken Boat, et al. You can read the online ones HERE. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and her MFA from City College of New York.  By day, she is Director of Media and Special Projects at NewHive. She lives in Venice, CA.

author-photo

About the Drive-By Reviewer:

Michael Gillan Maxwell is a visual artist, author, and teacher. The Part Time Shaman Handbook: An Introduction For Beginners, a hybrid book of images and prose, was published by Unknown Press in 2015. Prone to random outbursts, Maxwell can be found ranting and raving on his website: michaelgillanmaxwell.com

 

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go Shopping

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go Shopping

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, two days before the Winter Solstice. There are no flowers blooming, no buds bursting forth, no harkening to the delightful song of peepers in the pond. Instead, wind howls like the furies over piles of icy snow. At this very moment, members of the Electoral College are casting their votes for the 45th president of the United States and I sit here, still in my jammies, “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” This anachronistic expression has its roots in urban tenement life and alludes to a person waiting for the second shoe to drop after being awakened by an upstairs neighbor loudly dropping a shoe on the floor. In this case,I think it’s safe to say the other shoe has already dropped and it’s all over but the crying.

If climate change with its unseasonable and unreasonable weather patterns, polar vortexes, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, super volcanoes and solar flares aren’t enough to worry about, there are plenty of other boogeymen and evil clowns lurking under the bed to haunt my dreams in the wee, wee hours. At least one of them has a tragic hairstyle with an extreme comb-over. Never mind that a deer tick smaller than a poppy seed lurking in the grass is capable of inflicting an unholy host of autoimmune disorders. It almost makes me glad the lawn will be covered by a sheet of tundra ice until April.

The American political landscape is a 3 ring circus, a carnival freak show, a Wrestlemania smack down, an episode of the Jerry Springer Show meets Family Feud. While I had no illusions that the country was filled with happy campers from sea to shining sea, I had no idea that so many people were so pissed off about so many things, all at the same time. It’s kind of harshing my mellow. Why can’t we all just get along?

The super wealthy and all-powerful squirrel away fortunes in shell corporations and off-shore cookie jars. They buy up abandoned nuclear missile silos and build bunkers designed to withstand the impact of Planet X striking the Earth. It makes me wonder how far the spare change in my sock drawer and that extra can of Spaghettios in the pantry will take me when it all hits the fan.

I shouldn’t whine. When I think about it, I have so much to be grateful for. I’ve got my health, my demure figure, and more of most anything that I really need. I have food, clothing, shelter, modest resources and access to medical care and a social network in a place where everything isn’t blowing up or blowing away. Really. What more could I ask for? Well, maybe a little more leg room in Economy on commercial flights and tequila that is actually good for me. But still, I can’t seem to shake this sense of existential dread. Although maybe existential dread is itself a luxury? Who has time for existential dread when you’re trying to outrun a hungry lion, hide out from killer robots, or work two minimum wage jobs just trying to eke out an existence? What’s it all about Alfie?

But what truly effective action can one take to prepare for just about anything that might happen at any time? Some people become hardcore preppers and stockpile enough ammo and supplies to arm a militia and survive for years in a bunker. Some people count on being rescued by aliens, while others find solace in religion and await the Second Coming and the Rapture. Still others turn on, drop out and tune in to America’s Got Talent which really is just a 21st century version of Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour. This, and The Lawrence Welk Show ruled the airwaves during the infancy of television. Even as a young child, those shows evoked in me profound feelings of existential ennui with so much cognitive dissonance that I thought I must be witnessing an alien invasion. Although, seeing an Amateur Hour contestant enthusiastically play The Star Spangled Banner on his dentures as if they were a xylophone, did leave an indelible impression on my unformed psyche.

Anyway, what does one do as it appears that the human race may be sliding irrevocably into dystopia? Squat down in the back yard, covering our collective asses with our hats and scan the skies for the apocalypse? Maybe six pack abs would help, although a six pack of IPA would be better. Perhaps positive affirmations or motivational phrases might be the ticket. Something like “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Hunter S. Thompson’s version of that was: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Maybe he meant when things get weird, people who have always been weird really come into their own or get even weirder. That certainly seems to be the case in what is evolving into a collective TV reality show.

But seriously, how does an ordinary Joe like myself respond to the threats we now face? What can artists do in the face of such madness? The artistic community in Europe, responded to the horror and brutality of World War I with the Dada movement, a clarion call to awaken modern art from its slumber. It was a call to renewed awareness and a new kind of social action as paradigms shifted and the old ways of doing things fell away. We are at a similar juncture at this point in history. Perhaps one of my responsibilities as an artist in these times is to persist in the face of adversity, and continue to try to make art that matters; art that helps elevate the human spirit and brings light and levity to the darkness. Be vigilant. Remain aware. Stay awake. Stay connected. Model civility. Perform random acts of kindness. Offer moral, emotional and economic support to each other. Be kind, but remain fierce. Keep your chin up and your eyes fixed on the horizon.

These thoughts do make me feel a little better. There are things I can do, even if it’s a little bit each day. Although, to begin, it wouldn’t hurt to actually put on some real clothes before 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Get out there. DO something. Even if it’s to go shopping, because when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Even though going to the store in one’s pajamas has somehow become the new normal, the least I can do is to go shopping in something resembling a civilized dress code.

 

 

 

Kind of a jaded, postmodern Charles Dickens riff

A Christmas Story

Slogging through the semi-frozen slush in the parking lot I hear a jingling bell and off tune singing from just inside the doorway.

Ah shit! SHE’S here again. Where do they find these people?

Automatic door swings open and I’m greeted by a short, chubby, gnome-like woman, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater and a pair of bent wire holiday reindeer antlers jammed down on top of her head. Dancing the boogaloo near the Salvation Army donation kettle, ringing the bell in some kind of cadence to whatever music blasts through ear buds. She’s sings along in the key of whatever, twirls like a back up singer in a soul band, swings her left arm in a circle and points at me.

I’m ready for this. I’m prepared. I take the crumpled up dollar bill and try to stuff it into the donation kettle. It’s not like the old days where you just tossed money into an open pail. This is a locked steel box with an opening so tiny I can hardly stuff a dollar bill in there. You can put money in, but you can’t take it out. It also has serrated edges, so if you are stupid enough, or desperate enough to actually stick your finger in that hole, good luck trying to get it back out. Kind of like driving over those spiky things in a parking garage.

God save the queen, I mutter.

Merry Christmas to you too! she yells back.

She looks a hell of a lot like my old college friend who started the Jews for Jesus group on campus. Only he’s about 50 years older and Wonder Bread white. Whatever happened to that guy anyway? Disappeared into the void like most of the people I knew back then. Seems like everyone either started shooting heroin, became a born again something or other or a corporate lawyer living in some dystopian suburban purgatory.

Me? I’m just trying to get some last minute Christmas shopping done. You know. Put Christ back into Christmas. By shopping at Dollar General. The place where class and style go to die.

Hello. What have we here? A Trump Troll doll. Naked as the day I was born. The perfect stocking stuffer for the person who has everything they want but nothing they need. I envision myself, basking in the cozy glow of the living room tannenbaum as I turn this into a voodoo doll on Christmas Eve. Although this could have been so much better with tiny hands and an even tinier penis. And flatulent! Yes flatulent! One of those dolls that farts. They make those, don’t they?

I pay for 3 Trump Troll Dolls and a package red licorice twizzlers and head back toward the door. Dancing Gnome Girl is there to greet me. I stick a twizzler in the teeth of the donation pail.

Long live the king! I grumble.

 Merry Christmas to you too.

 

 

Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine

The Lunch Lady Cookbook – Trout Amandine

Jolly Roger profile pic

 

Hey there boys and girls! This is The Lunch Laddy comin’ at ya, straight outta cyberspace and in your face with another sumptuous recipe from The Lunch Lady Cookbook. Today’s recipe draws from a time honored culinary tradition that can be traced back to New Orleans and France. It’s trout season in New York State and the Lunch Laddy had the good fortune to be blessed with a monster filet of Lake Trout from Lake Ontario. It seemed only fitting that this wonderful fish be respected with special treatment. The Lunch Lady Cookbook is honored and proud to present to you Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine.

I actually received a bit of an education as I pondered this gustatory mystery. I found that I was one of the legions of kitchen hacks who misspelled the name of the recipe as “Trout Almondine” when it is actually spelled “Trout Amandine.” While I am no longer flexible enough to insert my foot in my mouth, I seem to be getting better and better when it comes to acknowledging my mistakes. So Mea Culpa. Trout Amandine it is then. Even though The Lunch Laddy is an old dog, he can still learn new tricks.

This recipe is pretty basic and there’s probably not much that is new and different from other Trout Amandine recipes, but it is new to me and thus, a new addition to The Lunch Lady Cookbook. The most important ingredients are fresh trout and almonds. This is NOT a recipe that would work by substituting fish sticks and beer nuts.

Lunch Lady Cookbook Trout Amandine

Here we go. Marinate filet of lake trout in fresh lime juice, salt and pepper for an hour or so. (Can be longer in the fridge) Lightly sauté chopped garlic and scallions in 2 tbs. butter. Dredge trout filet in flour and add to skillet. Brown both sides and lower heat to medium or lower. Cook each side for approximately 5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer fish to plate and keep warm. Melt 2 more tbs. butter in skillet and sizzle away until it starts to turn brown. Add slivered almonds with cracked pepper and cook on low heat until crispy and brown. Pour over fish. Garnish with fresh herbs. The Lunch Laddy used curly parsley, chives and sweet basil from the Lunch Lady Herb Garden. Drizzle fresh lime juice and serve on fresh slices of lime with rice and vegetables.

photo 2
Before
Trout Amandine (1)
After

Beverage pairing: Bollicini 2014 from Damiani Wine Cellars in the Finger Lakes.

Prosecco style, bottle fermented, sparkling wine with hints of citrus and pear. Weighing in at 1.85% residual sugar, Bollicini is clean, fresh, fruity, DELICIOUS! Serve really cold. To truly realize the medicinal qualities of this wine it is important that you drink all of it.

Music pairing: Drive By Truckers, Ryan Bingham and Old Crow Medicine Show on shuffle.

Until next time, Bon Apetit from The Lunch Lady Cookbook!

 

 

The Lunch Lady Cookbook – Chicken a la Fausto

The Lunch Lady Cookbook ~ Chicken a la Fausto

Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races
Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races

Hey there Boys and Girls! This is The Lunch Laddy, comin’ at ya, straight outta cyberspace, with another, long overdue installment of The Lunch Lady Cookbook.

I’ve been away for a while, but now I’m back and I’m bad; and bringing you a mouth watering recipe for a dish that has become a go-to in the Lunch Laddy’s cucina. It is my gustatory pleasure to present to you “Chicken a la Fausto!”

Even if you are vegetarian, or vegan, or gluten free, there are still plenty of delectable delights in this dish for you. Just avert your eyes during the chicken part. Why “a la Fausto?” you may ask? Well, my friends, THAT is an excellent question. It is named after an unforgettable character we knew who called himself by that name. He passed through our lives like a tornado a few years back. He was a drifter, a grifter, a classic flim flam man. He pretended to be many things. He claimed to be an Italian prince, a doctor, a professional photographer, an opera singer, a bicycle racer, a wine distributor and a luthier, among other things. He had a magnetic kind of charm, and very expensive tastes, but never seemed to have his credit card with him or any cash on him. There were also just too many inconsistencies in his convoluted stories and it soon became apparent he’d steal the shoes right off your feet if you’d let him. He was eventually banished from the kingdom and was last reported to be posing as a diamond merchant in Lower Manhattan. Good luck with that. However, he did leave behind a bit of a legacy by way of of a couple of really good, rustic recipes. One was a recipe for baked chicken and vegetables, which I named Chicken a la Fausto.

Here is the variation I made today for The Lunch Lady Cookbook.

Chicken a la Fausto

Place 4 chicken quarters in a baking dish. Season with Worcester Sauce, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, barbecue sauce. Tuck in brussels sprouts, yellow summer squash and top with sliced red onion. Oh yeah. Don’t forget. Pour a healthy dollop of dry red wine into the mix. It’s a colorful dish. You got yer basic flesh tones, complemented handsomely by red, yellow, and green, all in one dish. Pop into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and voila ~ Chicken a la Fausto! Serve with salt potatoes on the side. Let rest and cover with aluminum foil (tin foil) which you can use to make a tin foil hat to wear while you watch Ancient Aliens after dinner.

Before
Before
After
After

Music pairing: Lazy, laconic, lilting tunes by The Be Good Tanyas, Gillian Welch and Eilen Jewel seemed to fit the mood of this early summer afternoon.

Beverage pairing: I recommend a sassy and splashy little Spanish red called Laya. Vintage 2014. A brash blend of garnacha tintorera and monastrelli grapes that yields a fruit bomb that explodes on your tongue like the 14.5% alcohol bad boy that it is. I have photographed it on my kitchen floor because I figure if you’re gonna end up on the floor, you may as well just start on the floor and stay there.

Beverage Pairing
Beverage pairing

To Do List

To Do List

Before enlightenment

Haul water Chop wood

After enlightenment

Haul water Chop wood

In between

Haul ass

Mister Paul
Mr. Paul

MGM

Summer Solstice 2016

Chief Great Heart’s Last Dance

Chief Great Heart’s Last Dance

Chief Great Heart's Last Dance

I’m sitting here, still in my jammies, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon waiting for the world to end. It must be something like the sense of anticipation, or apprehension, that spawned that anachronistic old saying: “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.” It’s early spring and I should be seeing flowers bloom and buds burst forth as I harken to the delightful song of peepers in the pond. Instead I look out my window at piles of ice covered snow as the wind howls like the furies.

If climate change and all its unseasonable and unreasonable weather patterns, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes aren’t enough to worry about, there are plenty of other boogeymen lurking under the bed to haunt my dreams in the wee, wee hours.

The American political landscape is a 3 ring circus, carnival freak show, Wrestlemania smack down, an episode of the Jerry Springer Show meets Family Feud. I knew this country wasn’t filled with happy campers from sea to shining sea, but I had no idea so many people were so pissed off about so many things, all at the same time. It’s kind of harshing my mellow. Why can’t we all just get along?

While the super wealthy and all powerful squirrel away their fortunes in shell corporations and off shore cookie jars, build bunkers designed to withstand the impact of Planet X striking the Earth, and attend secret meetings to plot the demise of the rest of us Godforsaken misfits, it makes me wonder how far the spare change in my sock drawer and that extra can of Spagettios in the pantry will take me when it all hits the fan. At least I have jumper cables in my car.

Never mind that a deer tick smaller than a poppy seed lurking in my grass is capable of inflicting unspeakable mayhem upon the human body that can lead to an unholy host of neurological disorders. It almost makes me glad the lawn is still covered with snow in April.

I shouldn’t whine. I am grateful for all that I have. I have more of most anything that I really need. I have food, clothing, shelter, and access to medical care in a place where everything isn’t blowing up or blowing away. Really. What more could I ask for? Well maybe a little more legroom in Economy on commercial flights and tequila that is actually good for me. But still, I can’t seem to shake this sense of existential dread.

Although maybe existential dread is, itself, a luxury? Who has time for existential dread when you’re trying to outrun a hungry lion, hide out from killer robots, or work two minimum wage jobs just trying to eke out an existence? What’s it all about Alfie?

What does one do to prepare for anything that might happen at any time? Some people find comfort in religion. Others watch American Idol. Is that even on anymore? It won’t do any good just to squat down in my back yard and cover my ass with my hat while I scan the skies for the apocalypse. Maybe six pack abs would help? It’s times like these that it’s good to remember: “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.”

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

ripvan-pic

(attribution ~ http://americasstudies.com/)

My physician recently recommended that I undergo a sleep study. This took place in a sleep lab where my private room was like a high end hotel room without windows, a mini bar or private kidney shaped hot tub. And, by the way, I was hooked up to 30 electrodes, and a device pinching my right index finger while under the scrutiny of an infrared video camera. The electrodes were hooked up to various parts of my body, although the majority of them were attached to my head with some kind of waxy gel that made me look like a character in Clive barker’s cult classic horror film “Hell Raiser.”

hellraiserfeat

Nighty night, sleep tight. I’ve never been one to count sheep anyway and it certainly didn’t work for me under those circumstances. Honestly, it felt like I didn’t sleep a wink. Although apparently I dozed off long enough to record enough data to analyze my sleep patterns, which revealed that I have severe sleep apnea.

Simply put, sleep apnea is a condition where your airway relaxes and constricts to the point where you actually stop breathing. This happens with enough frequency to actually prevent falling into a deep, restorative asleep. I had multiple such events recorded within a one hour period where I was not breathing for as long as 58 seconds. That’s almost a minute! I can’t hold my breath for a minute when I’m conscious. At that rate, I should be training for competitive free diving or spearfishing.

poseidon3

After learning some of the possible outcomes of untreated sleep apnea include obesity, heart attack, stroke, dementia and sudden death, I didn’t need too much convincing to begin using a CPAP machine. CPAP is an acronym for “Continued Positive Airway Pressure” which is delivered from a machine through a mask or nosepiece. The pumped air keeps my airway from constricting or closing altogether, thus ensuring that I continue to breathe while actually falling into restorative sleep. I figured I may as well go all in and opted for the complete Darth Vader CPAP Starter kit. This includes a Darth Vader mask, helmet, cape, storm trooper boots and a continuous recording of James Earl Jones saying: “Luke, I am your Father!”

Grumpy cat

So, now I now need a machine to sleep. It’s just comforting to know that along with all of my e mail, phone calls, credit card purchases and social networking activity being monitored by the NSA, all of my sleep data is now uploaded to a satellite in space. It’s nice to know somebody cares!

Although, as one of my friends pointed out: “They’re certainly watching but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they care.”

phone-718649

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: