Friday, February 26, 2010
Toonces, the Sleep Thief
I’ve been gone a while but not because I’m just lazin’ around. Well, not unless you count feverishly reading Stephen King’s UNDER THE DOME as lazin’. It’s King’s best book in years. (Actually, I have to qualify that because I actually haven’t read the last few.) With King, I’d gotten to the point where I’d reach about the 100 page mark and hit a “wall” that would take me several attempts to get past. I’d lose interest and have to struggle to regain it. When this happened with BAG OF BONES, I set the book aside for almost a year before picking it back up again. I was glad I did because it was a great story. But his books are so long it became a chore to finish them. As a lifelong Kind devotee, this was heartbreaking. But none of that with DOME. From page one, I was hooked and for the last two weeks, every free moment has been dedicated to finishing the book. I’ve got less than a hundred pages to go and should be finished before I turn in tonight. (So don’t spoil the ending!)
One unfortunate side effect has been a lack of sleep. I’ve been suffering from that enough lately as it is. Ever since college, I’ve had job after job that required all-nighters or, at least late-nighters. And often. The result has been that I’ve been subsisting on 5-to-6 hours of sleep per night for going on 20 years. (An addiction to Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network hasn’t helped.) And for the last several months, our aging kitty Toonces has started howling for his breakfast earlier and earlier. He used to start in at 7:00 a.m. if we were sleeping in. These days, he’s chiming in at 4:30 on the worst days. It’s taking a toll. Last night, I was at my LCS and having a conversation with my friend Marvin. My mind kept wandering and I couldn’t concentrate, often asking him to repeat what he’d just said. My body was aching all over and I couldn’t seem to finish a sentence. Today, I couldn’t tell you what we talked about or even which books I bought without checking. Last night I managed 8 hours of sleep and the difference is amazing. I’m going to make an effort to do that more often. I’ve heard that getting less sleep takes years off your life. And I believe it.
On a happier note...as a horror fan and overgrown kid, I have an enduring love for the monster cereals manufactured by General Foods. Mom tried to keep us healthy but she also liked to let us be kids. Though we usually got Cheerios or Kix (or mostly plain ol’ oatmeal) for breakfast as kids, Mom would sometimes favor us with such treats as Cocoa Puffs, Sugar Smacks, Cap’n Crunch (the peanut butter variety is my all-time favorite) and Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles. (I loved how the milk would taste after a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles.) All the Kellogg’s mascots, at one time or another, were close breakfast companions. And, on happy occasions, Mom would come home with a selection of the monster cereals. BooBerry, FrankenBerry and Count Chocula were the favorites, of course, but we were even around for the brief but welcome appearances of Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy. Though those two are no longer manufactured, they hold a warm place in my heart.
For the last few years, I’ve been living through a second childhood of sorts, collecting all my old favorite movies, re-reading favorite books and comics, listening to ‘80s-era music and watching old, old TV shows. And I’d been hitting the Walmart cereal aisle to buy the occasional box of Count Chocula and FrankenBerry. But, sadly, Walmart has stopped carrying the cereals and they aren’t available anywhere else in Richmond. Trust me, I’ve looked. I was hugely disappointed. So, imagine my delight two days ago, when I came in to work and found a large cardboard shipping box on my desk. I opened it to find two boxes each of Boo, Frankie and the Count! Suzanne, the reigning Best Wife Ever, had struck again, ordering a case for me from an online candy retailer she’d located. I was so happy, I thought it warranted a sketch. I hope you like it.
Have a great weekend. I’ll be getting plenty of sleep. Well, unless the sugar high keeps me up. Mmmm...
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 7:14 AM