Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Royal Majesty

I know there are a lot of you out there who, like me, suffer from insomnia. I've tried everything over the years, from Melatonin to Valerian, to Tylenol PM to Valium to the newest thing, Rozarem.

Nothing works as well or as consistently as I'd like it to. I consider them band-aid measures at best.

So I make do. But never, ever do I awake feeling "refreshed". I'm not sure I've ever felt as if I've slept enough. The term "morning person" does not apply to me in any way, shape or form.

My guilty little secret is that sometimes after I've gotten the kids off to school, I go back to bed for a few hours. This is very counterproductive of course, because it only exacerbates my sleep problems later that night. I try not to do it, but sometimes the siren song of my bed is too much to resist.

Unfortunately, Diminutive One has inherited this proclivity. His sleep issues began at birth and have not improved much since then. When he was 7, he was diagnosed with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) because of drastically enlarged tonsils. They touched, in fact, sometimes entirely sealing off his airway. The ENT took one look in his mouth and said, "Well no wonder he doesn't sleep. We'll take them out a week from Friday." There was no mention of a sleep study; there just wasn't a need.

In the interim, I (foolishly) pinned all my hopes on that simple procedure. I really wanted it to be the magic bullet for him.

It did help. He stopped thrashing around like a fish out of water while he slept and he did seem more rested. But it didn't really do anything to address the issue of getting to sleep.

He, like me, just has trouble shutting off. His brain is like a runaway train, steaming ahead full speed, fueled by his rampant imagination and burning curiosity about everything.

His medication, if not taken at the proper time, can exacerbate matters. It is a stimulant, so if taken too late in the day, it doesn't wear off by bedtime. Because the kids are on school holiday and we all slept late, that's exactly what happened yesterday, despite the fact that he was up far past his usual bedtime.

We tried reading. We tried nature sounds on the iPod. We tried making up stories together. Nothing worked. He was wide awake, and becoming increasingly frustrated.

And then I had an epiphany.

Bob Ross.

Diminutive One LOVES watching Bob Ross. Folks used to make fun of Bob Ross because of his 'fro and his groovy threads, but the man is undeniably talented. And he is absolutely mesmerizing. His voice is incredibly soothing and soporific.

We went to YouTube and selected a clip we had not seen before; "Royal Majesty".

As we watched, the conversation went like this:

DO: Why (YAWN) does he always say "beat the devil out of it"?

BA: (YAWN) It's just his thing. He thinks it's funny.

DO: Oh. Is it?

BA: Ummm, I think it's more amusing than funny.

DO: Oh. (YAWN)


On the screen, Bob is crooning, "No pressure, no pressure. With this painting, you can literally move mountains."

He instructs us in how to make happy little trees. He instructs us to decide where they will live in this painting. He instucts us in how to mix the colors, swirling and swirling in a hypnotizing motion, until the color is remarkably rich and suitably verdant. He swipes his brush deftly across the creamy puddle and creates majestic pine trees with effortless little stabs of his brush upon the canvas.

DO: Why (YAWN) do they call it (YAWN) "pthalo blue"?

BA: (YAWN) I don't know. We could (YAWN) google it.

DO: Okay. Maybe (YAWN) tomorrow.

BA: I think he's almost (YAWN) done with this one.

DO: (YAWN) Yeah. I wish I could do that.

BA: You (YAWN) can. Bob Ross believes that everybody has creative ability. They just need (YAAAAAAAAAWN) somebody to teach them how to use it.

DO: Do you think (YAWN) I do?

BA: (YAWN) Absolutely!

We watch Bob finish the rest of his painting in companionable silence. When he is done, he says kindly, "Let me hear from you if you decide to try this one. In the meantime, happy painting, and God bless my friend." He waggles his fingers in a gesture that should seem effeminate, but is not. It's just Bob.

Diminutive One is asleep, lulled into sweet unconsciousness by Bob's soft tenor and the sound of brushstrokes swishing to and fro.

I am grateful to the gentle man. He teaches more than painting, I think. He teaches us to take the time to nurture the soul, to feed it with the joy of doing something we love.

Sometimes, I feel quilty about taking time to write, especially when there are things lying undone. There are a lot of things I would like to do that are "frivolous"; I would like to learn to play the piano. I would like relearn all the French I've forgotten in the 14 years since our honeymoon in Paris. I would like to learn to throw clay.

But I don't, because I have obligations. Responsibilities.

Bob makes me think about that. A lot.

I herded Diminutive One to his own bed, shuffling and swaying. When I returned to my own bed, I slipped easily into oblivion myself.

I dreamt of pthalo blue skies.


  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Not being able to sleep is the worst... and I'd imagine there are no pills for someone DO's age. Well, thank goodness for Bob. Whatever works, eh?

  • At 1:40 PM, Blogger Foofa said…

    That was very sweet. I can see the two of you watching Bob. I always think that it is equally as important to take time for the things we like to do as it is to focus on our responsibilities. If we don' do fun things we can't put as much energy in to our responsibilities because we are too burnt out.

  • At 1:46 PM, Blogger XUP said…

    I've never been a very good sleeper either, but I find getting up really early in the morning (5:00 am) helps in several ways. I get some peaceful alone time to do things like write or read or even some quiet little chores I've been putting off. By evening, I'm forced to get out and go for a walk after supper so I don't fall asleep -- so I'm getting extra exercise and, finally, by 10:00 pm I have very little trouble dropping off.

  • At 1:54 PM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    Good. I'm glad Bob makes you think about that. As hard as it is to imagine, we are not on this planet to be beasts of burden. :)

  • At 1:58 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    That's pretty cute. I kind of wish I could have watched Bob Ross with y'all last night.

  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger Tania said…

    Hubby and I resort to British programming whenever we can't sleep. Bob is a lot more soothing though.

  • At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what a great way to get sleepy together. you brought back a lot of memories for me talking about Bob Ross. thanks!

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh yes. Bob Ross and his little gentle sayings and sound effects. "And ! boop! -- maybe a littel squirrel live right in there..." God rest his gentle soul.

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger Pgoodness said…

    Bob Ross! That is fantastic - I've always loved him and he is the perfect way to be lulled into sleep. Good for you finding a way to relax together.

  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger Kat said…

    That is so bizarre that you had Bob Ross on your blog today because just last night I was telling someone about him. I used to LOVE watching him as a kid. I loved all his "happy little trees", and "happy little streams". That is awesome. Thanks for the clip.
    Good luck with the sleep tonight.

  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger Kat said…

    That is so bizarre that you had Bob Ross on your blog today because just last night I was telling someone about him. I used to LOVE watching him as a kid. I loved all his "happy little trees", and "happy little streams". That is awesome. Thanks for the clip.
    Good luck with the sleep tonight.

  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger Phoenix said…

    I've never thought to try Bob. I'm going to tonight though.

    I've never been a good sleeper. My mom still tells stories about me as a baby. No nice sweet stories either. :)

  • At 10:06 PM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    Bob Ross honestly makes me go into the best kind of fuzzy trance.

  • At 11:18 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    Brilliant. He is the sweetest, isn't he? Happy little trees.

    Me, I have memorized the dog breeds in alpha order and recite them...affenpinscher, afghan, airedale, akita...I usually get to the mid Bs before i drop off.

  • At 11:30 PM, Blogger S said…

    such a sweet post! i can just see the two of you yawning through bob.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Cathy, Amy and Kristina said…

    I know all about the inability to sleep. So frustrating.

    As for Bob -- I had totally forgotten about him! My dad always used to watch, laughing over all the "happy little" this or thats.

  • At 1:37 AM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    i just loved this. that creative spark.

  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger Namito said…

    I have a new appreciation for Bob Ross now, thanks to you.

    And hearing about "happy trees" always makes me smile.

    That being said, the best episode of the few I ever watched was the one where he completely messed up his painting.

    Even with the black hole of a barn in the center of his painting, he never lost his soothing voice.

    Takes a special sort of guy to stay zen in the face of failure.

    Go Bob.

    And happy sleeping.

  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger Mitzi Green said…

    bless bob ross. i do miss him so.

    though i never thought to try him as a cure for my own insomnia. maybe i'll give that a shot...

  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks for that reminder of Bob Ross - my DS loves to paint, I'll bet he'd get a big kick out of watching. YouTube here we come! :-)

  • At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I was a kid, we used to hurry home from church on Sunday mornings to watch the "Happy Trees Show." I loved Bob Ross then and still do. I always stop if I catch a gratuitous episode on in the afternoon. I didn't know they had them on YouTube. Now I have even more reason to hurry up and reinstate our home internet access so that I can watch.

    My husband has a t-shirt that says Happy Trees on it in black felt and has the silhouette of Bob Ross, fro and all, in the same black felt. It's an awesome shirt.

  • At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I’d contemplate the the human race of to ascertain that too!

  • At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bob Ross is a godsend for people who find themselves restless in bed.

    The solution is pretty simple; you need to have at least around 30 episodes. It's very important to have a rotation so you don't recognize what he's about to say next. Then, you pick three episodes and you listen to the first couple of seconds for each one of them so you know that the audio is the same with each one. After having done so, you adjust the sound to a level where you should be able to hear his brush tapping clearly, but not too loud. The same goes for his voice, his son talks much louder than him but they are both good for this purpose. After that you make sure your laptop's screen is turned off(or dim the light and use the blank screen screensaver) and make sure it is on power saver mode so it'll turn off after the episodes are done. Otherwise the humming will wake you up at night. This routine may sound like a lot of work, but once you get the settings its just a matter of a minute or two to ensure you will sleep well. I guarantee you that 95% of the time you won't even be awake till the second episode starts. After a couple of months you will adapt to this.

    I have been doing this regularly for the past two year. Yes I'm crazy, but thanks to Bob Ross I sleep like a baby.


Post a Comment

<< Home