It’s the Bed, Stupid

There are few things more annoying than suffering from perma-insomnia when the person who shares your bed can fall asleep a mere nanosecond after pillow contact.  I’m not pointing the finger (Keith), I’m not accusing anyone (Keith), I’m not naming names (Keith). I’m just sayin’ …

I don’t remember a stretch of time when it was easy for me to fall asleep.  Jan will happily tell you what a “poor” sleeper I was as a baby.  I couldn’t sleep when I was a Brownie.  I couldn’t sleep when I had mono. I couldn’t sleep under the influence of Ambien or Xanax.  The one disease I don’t worry about? African Sleeping Sickness.

What’s that? The tsetse fly, you say? Oh. I actually have worried about that. Sorry.

Every now and then, I’ll go through a rare and brief “sleep easy” week or two, but sooner or later, the insomnia returns with a vengeance. I’ve always just blamed it on the unfortunate combination of anxiety, sensory overload, genetics, and a touch of fatal familial insomnia.  But lately, another, more sinister possibility has occurred to me.

What if it is not anxiety, sensory overload, genetics or FFI at all but rather …wait for it … the very piece of furniture meant to provide hours of quality respite and restorative slumber ? What if it’s really … [insert menacing thunder and organ music] THE BED ITSELF?

When I met Keith, he had just bought a Tempur-Pedic.  Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about beds or mattresses, so I’m about as qualified to assess them as Peter Griffin is to judge fine wines.  In my entire life, I have personally selected my own just once – right before I moved to New York, at a big A&S sale in Paramus. And at the time, the options were much simpler: hard, medium or soft. There were  no –pedics and no –foams. If it was a fancy Nancy bed you desired, you ordered the Craftmatic by toll-free phone call after seeing its commercial on TV in the wee hours of the night. So in 2008, what I did know was that I liked my beds not too soft and not too hard; that the Heavenly Westin bed was indeed heavenly; that a freakish number of mattress brand names started with the letter “S”;  and that the Tempur-Pedic was the alleged be-all/end-all of sleep-related wares. It changed people’s lives. It brought the gift of good rest.

Except to me. I got a rock.  

It's not you, it's me. Or maybe it's you.

I just didn’t get it. The Tempur-Pedic felt really firm and really high and refused to mold to my body. But since I’ve been a “poor sleeper” all my life, it never really occurred to me that the bed had anything to do with my inability to slumber. And pretty soon, I stopped thinking about it. I had too many other things to obsess over. 

But for the past few months, my insomnia has been worse than usual.  You could argue that this has to do with general malaise and getting married and stress at work and fear of the future.  But I’ve become hyper-aware of the bed as I lie awake. And let me tell you: that freakin’ bed isn’t blameless in this scenario.

But what’s the answer? Keith thinks the Tempur-Pedic is the greatest invention since the Barca Lounger.  He spent a lot of money on it, not that long ago. It’s not the kind of thing you just replace every few months. Plus, he’s so flexible about home furnishings; I could never ask him to sacrifice the one thing in the apartment he really does care about.  And really, who knows what, if any, difference the mattress is making?

I’m at a loss. It’s unlikely that I’ll “accidentally” misplace a queen mattress.  It’s also not the kind of thing I can really I throw out “by mistake.”  (Not that I ever did such things of course…) So I started researching stop-gap measures.  There’s the classic egg crate, of course, as well as something called a “convoluted” mattress pad (available on; a “baffle box;”  a Cuddleewe; and a “SuperSnooze,” among others. For some reason, the names of these products make me chuckle heartily but just don’t scream out “EIGHT UNINTERRUPTED HOURS OF BLISSFUL Z’s.”

So I ask you, loyal and random readers, what in THE hell am I supposed to do?

It’s the Bed, Stupid

Just Say No

As you probably know from previous posts, I love and respect all god’s chocolate. I do not discriminate based on color (milk v. dark), nationality (Swiss v. American), name (Russell Stover v. Godiva) or point of origin (CVS/Walgreen’s v. Vosges/Maison du Chocolat).

But there is one place I draw the line: at the spice rack. I think I understand “Lost” better than I understand the concept of pairing chocolate with “seasonings” like chili pepper, saffron, cardamom, and rosemary.  There’s chocolate, and then there’s crap you buy at open-air bazaars on the streets of Morocco. And ya don’t mix ‘em. This is a policy to which I should have stuck earlier this week.

My coworker (let’s call him “Kyle”) came up to my desk and began unwrapping a very thin chocolate bar covered in delicate foil. He broke off three squares and handed them to me, which would have been a lovely gesture were it not for one teensy detail:  this was no ordinary chocolate. This was marmite chocolate. I’d seen “Kyle” post about a gift of marmite chocolate on Facebook, but I’d assumed he was kidding.  He wasn’t.

Now, marmite is something that I had previously never tried but somehow just knew was vile. Perhaps it was the word’s resemblance to both “varmint” (and subsequently “vomit”) as well as “termite.” Perhaps I’d been turned against it by Cousin Vegemite, made famous in New Jersey by Men at Work and “The Land Down Under.”   But I’d once been foie gras-averse too. Maybe marmite was worth trying?

Don't be fooled by its innocent exterior

I took the tiniest possible bite of the first square. What followed reminded me of Willy Wonka’s meal replacement gum – the one responsible for Violet Beauregarde’s demise-by-three-course meal.  Course One of this freakish chocolate was a strong, bitter taste reminiscent of espresso. That quickly morphed into a yeasty, raw bread dough sensation. Finally, I felt like I was eating a piece of very dark chocolate at the same time as a tablespoon of onion powder and a clove of minced garlic. And long after I’d swallowed, I continued to feel that way. I assure you: it is not a good feeling.

The marmite chocolate packaging told us we would find a “hint of marmite indulgence” inside. I am lead to believe that the manufacturer and I have different definitions of “indulgence.”

I think the British chef quoted in this article from the Daily Mail sums it up best when he describes the taste: “…deeply nauseating.”

Just Say No

A 2010 Word Collage

It  is customary on this day to look forward, and to do a lot of resolving.  I, however, am going rogue. I’ve decided, on this New Year’s Day, to look backwards at 2010. As such, I’ve created a “word collage,” a personal tag cloud of the things that I did, ate, wore, loved, thought about, wrote about, cried about, worried about, obsessed over, and/or was generally touched by.  

Keith ♦ Kings Carriage House ♦ bad hair cut ♦ irritable bowel ♦ earthquake ♦ Bernie ♦ Naomi ♦ blog ♦ Sandra Bullock ♦ SNL ♦ The Blind Side Hunters ♦ Nicole ♦ Buddakan ♦ Austin ♦ icy Dallas ♦ Charlie Wilson ♦ L! H! L! ♦ Limelight ♦ Midnight in Moscow ♦ strata ♦ jeggings ♦ Thirteen Plus 1 ♦ half pipe ♦ Vancouver ♦ Artisinal ♦ Philly ♦ Facebook ♦ page A3 ♦ March 27 ♦ Picholine ♦ West Elm ♦ iPad ♦ The Good Wife ♦ Splendid ♦ Featured Movie app ♦ press release ♦ Icy Hot ♦ Modern Family ♦ HTML ♦ undereye circles ♦ Trader Joe’s ♦ Meet the Press ♦ Reid ♦ rhinovirus ♦ Singapore ♦ Stella ♦ Doris ♦ Norman ♦ Google ♦ Vienna ♦ F21 ♦ New Jersey ♦ Sugar Sweet Sunshine ♦ Piggy ♦ the POP ♦ volcano ♦ Iron Man II ♦ Chase ♦  Jan ♦ keyword ♦ Viand ♦ Twilight ♦ Betty White ♦ peanut butter ♦ World Cup ♦ Vampire Weekend ♦ Muse ♦ Cee-Lo ♦ Pinkleberry ♦ Dennis Hopper ♦ Rue McClanahan ♦ Juliet ♦ Fightin’ Blue Hens ♦ T-Bags ♦ oil ♦ Denver ♦ Tibetan singing bowl ♦ urban swim club ♦ Parker ♦ 1 train ♦ census ♦ Jane ♦ Long Beach ♦ Zappos ♦ pool party ♦ Long Branch ♦ Snooki ♦ Aroma Cafe ♦ Allyson & Eric ♦ Feena ♦ keratin ♦ Italian festival ♦ Kardashian ♦ Spike Mike ♦ Matt Bernson ♦ Gilt Groupe ♦ The Town ♦ Snoopy  ♦ You Don’t Know Jacques ♦ Outsourced ♦ Cereal ♦ SEO ♦ Houlihan skinny cargo ♦ Dave & Rob ♦ black & tan ♦ littles ♦ Kiki ♦ Palmie ♦ Karen ♦ bubble umbrella ♦ Penelope ♦ The Kids are Alright ♦ Raviolistein ♦ Lillet ♦ Ella ♦ Ma’am ♦ California ♦ Ollie ♦ Mad Men ♦ Dr. Faye ♦ 1965 ♦ eve of destruction ♦ miners ♦ AL special ♦ Eataly ♦ Universal Life ♦ Jon Hamm ♦ BBIM ♦ wedding ♦ mossad ♦ Light My Sapphire ♦ Claire ♦ Son Cubano ♦ tiara ♦ gym ♦ HeLa  cells ♦ Brooks Bros. ♦ Offsides ♦ insomnia ♦ angular chelitis ♦ Diet Pepsi ♦ Conan ♦ Obama ♦ Cuomo ♦ Shy Ronnie ♦ Frye ♦ Liam ♦ cupcake bar ♦ Lucky’s ♦ Kate & William ♦ 1990 ♦  ingrown eyelash ♦ dandruff ♦ St. Thomas ♦ Mystique  ♦ coconut rum ♦ liquid sunshine ♦ Hullo, diner? ♦ Criminal Minds ♦ family ♦ SILs  ♦ Issa ♦ JL ♦ Kings of Leon ♦ Rotting nails ♦ December 2 ♦ pigs in blankets ♦ December 4 ♦ Style ♦ melasma ♦ Axis ♦ Scalpacin ♦ Cookie Monster ♦ Chrismukkah bush ♦ Crate & Barrel ♦ oy to the world ♦ Dyker Heights ♦ tablet ♦ cross-body bag ♦ Mark Zuckerberg ♦ blizzard ♦ trademark ♦ snow saucer ♦ unknown ♦ Let It Be ♦ 2011  

A 2010 Word Collage