Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How I didn't sleep with Madonna

For the first time in 34 years, I was completely unable to fall asleep. It was the most frustrating thing and I'm not sure what the problem was but if it ever happens again, I'm going to knock myself unconcious with a blunt object.

It all started last Thursday just before midnight. I had to be up at 5 Friday morning to collect Jeremy from midtown by 6 (we were heading up to Boston for yet another weekend of complimentary luxury...this time at the Taj, formerly the Ritz). At the last minute, we decided to leave @ 6 because snow was expected mid-morning.

By 1:30, I'd yet to fall asleep and the anxiety level was growing. I imagined my brain was a frozen Windows operating system: I kept hitting CTL+ALT+DEL but to no avail. The system would not shut down. By 3, I was pretending to sleep but fully aware I was living a lie.

I looked outside and saw that snow had already begun in earnest. I texted Jeremy: "no point in leaving @ 6 to beat the weather. it's already here. let's leave at 10." Worried that he wouldn't make it to Boston in time for happy hour, Jeremy replied, "if we leave at 6, we can sit in traffic that much longer."

I tried changing my environment and moved to the living room couch. By 4, sleep had not arrived but the realization that my fish are totally OCD did. Every one of my 4 tanks was alive with crazed fish pacing repeatedly in the same hurried pattern from one end of the tank to the other. I'd hoped their swimming would relax me but instead, I found myself wondering if they make Adderall for amphibians.

After 20 minutes, I decided sleep was not forthcoming and began getting ready to leave for Boston. It was the worst possible scenario: sleep deprived and driving on snowy, unplowed roads at high speed. But, a $2,000 a night luxury suite at the Taj overlooking Boston Common awaited. So, off I went.

After stopping at Dunkin Donuts for liquid crack, I warned Jeremy that I hadn't slept and was therefore liable to crash or strangle him at a moment's notice. As we drove through the slush out of NYC and into Connecticut, my brain began to disconnect from my body.

Sensing a head-on collision with delirium, I plugged the iPod in and set its playlist to Madonna (common ground for Jeremy and I). This led to forced consciousness and 50 miles of "top 5" Madonna video lists...

Top 5 worst Madonna videos (this was hard to keep at just 5)
1. "This Used to be My Playground"
2. "Love Don't Live Here Anymore"
3. "American Life"
4. "Love Profusion"
5. "True Blue"
(runners-up: "Me Against the Music," "Who's That Girl?" "You'll See")


(what's with the flag PowerPoint presentation?)

Top 5 best Madonna videos (this was equally as hard to keep at just 5):
1. "Express Yourself"
2. "Open Your Heart"
3. "Like a Virgin"
4. "Hung Up"
5. "Vogue"
(runners-up: "Rain," "Material Girl")


(no one does cone bras and nipple tassles like my girl M)

Top 5 WTF Madonna videos:
1. "Fever"
2. "Erotica"
3. "Deeper and Deeper"
4. "The Power of Goodbye"
5. "Bedtime Story"
(runners-up: "Jump," "American Pie," "Get Together," "Nothing Really Matters")

Top 5 most-unappreciated Madonna videos:
1. "What It Feels Like for a Girl"
2. "Hollywood"
3. "Frozen"
4. "Secret"
5. "Bad Girl"
(runners-up: "Don't Tell Me," "Music")

Top 5 most-depressing Madonna videos:
1. "Take a Bow"
2. "Oh Father"
3. "La Isla Bonita"
4. "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"
5. "I Want You"

I found it especially hard to remember the videos as we listed each despite saying it just 2 seconds before. So, I recorded the lists on my phone's voice notes; unfortunately, I also forgot to save the note. Kids, this illustrates why you shouldn't stay up all night cramming for an exam: sleep deprivation robs you of the ability to remember stuff.

If my Madonna "top 5" story doesn't convince you, maybe a Harvard study will:
http://sleep.med.harvard.edu/news/24/Study+Finds+Sleep+Vital+for+Memory

Missing from Harvard's study is my "Top 5 Reasons Why Sleep is, like, Important:"
1. It helps generate HGH (Human Growth Hormone), without which Roger Clemens would look like Screech.
2. Dreams are a great way to live out fantasies involving crocodiles.
3. If rats are any indication, you'd die in 28 sleepless days (of course, you'd probably collapse into sleep before dying but the coffee table you'd hit on the way down might finish you off).
4. What fun is a yawn/fart/stretch in the morning if you're awake before doing it?

And finally, the 5th reason why sleep is important:
5. It helps you remember stuff like putting gas in your car before attempting to drive 230 miles. Yes, by exit 91 in CT, my car's idiot light came on indicating that it was about to run out of gas. When I left NYC, I had 1/4 tank and even sped by gas pumps on my way out of a rest area (although I did pause to think about checking the window washer fluid levels).

150 miles later, the needle was absolutely BURIED below "E" as we crossed into the no man's land between CT and Rhode Island (population: one seagull, Jeremy and me). Luckily, my car sputtered into the ONE gas station located off exit 92. It was the closest I've ever come to being disowned by my Dad (he said he would do so if I was ever stupid enough to run out of gas).

Anyway, I finally fell asleep Friday night sometime after 11 in a fluffy, feather-filled bed at the Taj, snow still falling softly outside in the hushed streets of Boston. I'd like to say it was the best sleep ever but I awoke at 2 AM thanks to my Mom's snoring (she'd joined me for the weekend) and I ended up sleeping on a couch in the suite's living room.

Thankfully, there were no OCD fish nearby.


(Boston from our 16th floor windows: during snow; after snow)


(the room where I finally fell asleep, complete with a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush)

1 comment:

dan the man said...

How does "Justify My Love" not make the top-5 video list? I protest!

Jenn, every time I think you can't possibly be less organized, you outdo yourself. Sounds like you were pretty lucky to arrive in Baaahston in one piece.

How can you drive for miles and miles and never look at the dash to check the instruments? Is that even possible? I'm sure you checked the rearview mirror 9,364 times to check your lipstick.

I'm glad to see that you arrived with your precious cargo (Jeremy) alive. Next time, I want in.