The Fitbit and my sleep progress. (New Year’s Resolution check-in!)

We’re three months into the new year, and usually by now I’ve done some sort of New Year’s resolution check-in post, so I figured why not today.

My resolution to get more sleep has been going okay. I think what’s happening is I’m approaching it in slow steps, starting with setting up the Fitbit that Callaghan gave me over the holidays. (Christmas? Birthday? I can’t remember now, so it’s “the holidays.”) Though I’d resolved to get to bed earlier starting on January 1st, it took me until the end of January to start tracking my sleep. The first time I used the Fitbit to track my sleep (the only reason I wanted it, and the only thing I use it for) was on January 30th.

I haven’t yet made the successful jump from tracking my sleep to actually getting more sleep on a regular basis. It’s been enlightening to see my sleep schedules and patterns in digital display, though, and it gives me an idea of my natural, “before success” sleep schedule.

I set my sleep goal to 7 hrs/night, to start. (Baby steps.) The Fitbit tells you when you’ve hit your goal.

Progress: I’ve been tracking my sleep for 61 days. I hit my sleep goal 8 times out of the 61.

That’s right… I got 7 hours of sleep only 8 nights out of 61, and I know that there’s been a slight improvement. Using the Fitbit has verified that my lack of sleep situation was as bad as I’d thought it was. That’s a start, right? And that, my friends, is the whole point of the Fitbit. It’s going to hold me accountable and make it difficult for me to shrug off the effort.

Looking at the Fitbit’s “benchmark” view, I can compare my sleep to that of other women my age. I almost feel weird about sharing this, but it’s of interest to me in terms of my resolution, so here’s how I compare in terms of the minutes I spend in each of the four sleep stages:

  • Awake:* overwhelmingly less than average
  • R.E.M.: above average almost half the time
  • Light: overwhelmingly within the average range
  • Deep: above average half the time

*About the awake stage, since you may not be aware (I wasn’t, until I got the Fitbit): “It’s normal to see ‘awake’ minutes in your sleep stages; studies have shown a typical adult could wake up briefly between 10-30 times per night. You may not remember waking up since you likely fell right back to sleep, especially if you were awake for less than 2-3 minutes at a time. If you wake up in the morning feeling like you had a restless night, you may notice more ‘awake’ minutes in your sleep stages as compared to other nights.”

My “awake” minutes were much less than average. They only fell within the average range 6 out of 61 nights. Also, half of the time, I got more sleep than average in the R.E.M. and deep sleep stages. The anti-anxiety med I take before going to bed (Klonopin) knocks me out, and I stay out. It’s doing its job. (For reference: I take 0.5mg, and I weigh 115 lbs.)

I haven’t noticed that my more alert mornings correlate logically to the amount of sleep I got, or to the time I’d spent in certain sleep stages. I do notice that it’s harder for me to wake up when I’m in R.E.M. when the alarm goes off. If I’m dreaming when that alarm sounds, I’m groggy for half the day, it seems. I didn’t need the Fitbit to tell me this, though.

Now to ramp up my efforts to get to bed earlier! This is where I start setting an alarm to tell me to get ready for bed. If you see me on social media after 9:30pm, ask me why.

Failing at sleep. (New Year’s Resolution progress.)

Progress, of lack thereof.

Here’s one thing I’ve achieved so far in my 2018 resolution to get more sleep: I’ve acquired a fitness tracker with a sleep component that reviewers online seem to like. At the end of Month 1, that’s all I have to report… because I haven’t really used it yet.

I know.

Callaghan gave the tracker to me for my birthday. I wanted one, I said, because the tyranny of a device might be the only thing that can hold me accountable. I need to be able to look at the tracker every morning and be dismayed.

I dawdled, deciding on the fitness tracker gift a few weeks post-New Year’s. (My birthday is at the end of December.) I charged it and looked at it and said “I don’t have time to figure this out so I’m going to exchange it” and then grudgingly put it on last night, and this morning I was, indeed, properly dismayed – though not surprised at all – to see that I only got 4:58 hours of sleep. I know that it’s pretty much 5 hours, but seeing the number “4” makes it worse psychologically.

Ironically, it took me a little longer to fall asleep with the fitness tracker around my wrist. I could feel it thrumming, and from that and the tingling sensation in my wrist and hand came a sudden panic that the tracker was going to electrocute my brain during the night.

This is good. This is what I need. I’m failing at sleep, and I’m counting on this fitness tracker to deny me of my denial.

Changing an ingrained bad habit is one of the hardest things to do. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have New Year’s resolutions, right? Generally speaking?

Incidentally, I decided to wear the tracker at the gym this morning, just to see. Clearly, I need to do more studying to learn about this device. There’s no way you can burn 852 calories doing a Les Mills BodyPump class, is there? I did nothing else while wearing the tracker this morning. I put it on immediately before picking up my barbell, and removed it immediately after the cool-down. 852 calories doesn’t sound right. The Les Mills website says that you can burn “up to 560 calories” during BodyPump! I don’t know how the tracker is coming up with 852.

That aside (I didn’t get the tracker for actual fitness tracking, though I will wear it to BodyCombat, too, also out of curiosity), I do trust that using the tracker will motivate me to get to bed earlier.

Here’s to the beginning of Month 2!

Yawn. (New Year’s resolutions and such.)

I used to be passionate about making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. Many of you may remember that. I’m kind of blasé about it now, and maybe that’s because I have just ONE resolution for 2018, and that’s only because I’ve already resolved… to get more sleep.

Yawn. (In every sense of a word that can sum up “boring,” ho-hum double entendre intended.)

I’ve been resolving to get more sleep for a long time; 2018 isn’t the first year I’ve re-stated this. There’s only one lifestyle fix I need to make, and this is it. I know that sufficient sleep on a regular basis is essential for optimizing physical health and mental well-being. I know this. 4-6 hours per night just. isn’t. enough.

Waking up later in the morning isn’t an option. I like to be up early. The problem is that I also like to stay up late, and this is what I need to give up. I need to give up late nights. There’s no benefit to me in staying up late.

I’ll keep working on it. Honestly, I don’t know why resolutions are so difficult to keep! New Year’s resolutions, after all, are promises we make to ourselves. Why would I not do everything I can to keep a promise I make to myself? I think we set ourselves up for failure by formally setting resolutions… so I’ll end this here. I’ve said too much!!

 

Sleep is so exciting that only a pic of theatrical lighting and dry ice would do.

 

It’ll be 2018 when I post here again, so Happy New Year to you all… and good luck with your resolutions, whatever they may be!

I sleep-ninja. (I have somnambulninja.) (Also, sleep and other unfair advantages.)

The quality of my sleep has improved a lot in the last three weeks. I even slept through my alarm one day. It happened on a Sunday, still the only day of the week I sleep in until 8:30.

My body sensed the height of the sun and the lateness of the morning. Panic brewed before I opened my eyes. It was 9:30. “What happened to my alarm?” I asked Callaghan. “I set it for 8:30!”

“You asked me to turn it off, so I did,” Callaghan said.

Sure.

I use the alarm on my phone, which I keep next to my side of the bed at night. I’ve never failed to wake up and turn it off. I’ve certainly never asked him to turn it off for me.

“You were awake and we talked for a little while,” he continued. “Then you went back to sleep.”

“I don’t understand… how could I have done that without remembering…”

“But you did.”

“Really?”

He looked at me for a second. Then he changed his story:

“You woke up. You beat me up. You disappeared!” he claimed. “You don’t remember?”

And that would be why we don’t own a gun.

“I disappeared?” I wasn’t about to voice the morbid sarcasm that popped into my head. I was going to pursue the intriguing part of his claim: that I disappeared.

“Yes. You disappeared. You beat me up and then you disappeared.”

I thought about it for a second.

 

My ninja t-shirt. "Today's Lesson: Division"

My ninja t-shirt. “Today’s Lesson: Division”

 

“I sleep-ninja’d,” I said. “A sleep-walker is a somnambulist… I’m a somnambulninja.”

“I guess.”

“What other ninja things have I done in my sleep?” I was pleased with my epiphany.

“You texted that one girl and plotted something. I don’t remember what because I was asleep, too, and you sleep-deleted it. But it was sinister.”

“It wasn’t supposed to be you,” I broke in, still thinking about his claim. “I mean, if I was going to beat anyone up, it wouldn’t be you. But I wouldn’t beat anyone up at all unless it was in self-defense. Anything other than that wouldn’t be necessary.”

“Why not?”

“Because what comes around, goes around. If someone does me wrong, I wouldn’t worry about it, because they’d get theirs eventually. I wouldn’t have to do a thing.”

And that reminded me of the folk song “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”… specifically, Johnny Cash’s cover. Have you seen the video?

 

 

Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

Not sure how I digressed into the laws of moral causation when this was just to mention that I’ve been sleeping well. Sleep is good. It’s good for the sleeper, and it’s good for people who want to claim that you said and did things while you were sleeping. Excuse me while I disappear.

Because “resolution” without the “re” is SOLUTION.

Like many people, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been an on-and-off cynic most of my adult life. My birthday falls five days before New Year’s Day, though, so at some point, I finally thought, Why not turn my personal one-year-older goals into resolutions? Because what are birthdays if not opportunities for introspection and decision-making to move forward with new or refreshed goals, right? Or something like that (says my inner self-help guru to myself).

“Resolution” minus the “re” is “solution,” after all… and that stands out to me. I’m a fan of solutions.

As it turns out, I do well participating in the ritual of making New Year’s resolutions. It’s glorified goal-setting that could be undertaken on any random day, sure, but January 1 is as good a day as any, fanfare or no. If we don’t have the motivation to commit to a goal on any other day of the year, at least there’s that day!

“Goals” is a popular word right now, but I want to talk plainly about how there’s a difference between wanting to achieve goals and needing to achieve them. Resolutions, in my opinion, are goals that we need to achieve; we make them in order to reignite the mechanisms we have for growth, self-improvement, joie de vivre… whatever it is that we’re lacking, in whatever way it needs to manifest. Ultimate goals are things like contentment and productivity. Contentment and productivity are good. People who are content and productive are good for society, good for us all.

You might receive advice that’s actually detracting, usually coming from the hearts of well-intentioned loved ones. There’s the old “…but you have to WANT to do it,” which I think is psychobabble for “You have to feel that doing xyz is going to result in personal gratification, or it’s not worth the effort.” I don’t believe this. Some of my greater achievements in life resulted from goals that I needed to pursue, but I absolutely didn’t want to pursue them.

Quitting smoking, for instance. I smoked between the ages of 15 and 23. I only smoked for eight years, but addiction is addiction no matter how long you’ve had it.

I absolutely did not WANT to quit smoking. I loved smoking. Whenever I’d think about quitting, all I WANTED my next cigarette. When I finally committed to breaking the habit, I still didn’t want to. I did it because I knew that I needed to.

Quitting was every bit as excruciating as I thought it would be.

I quit cold turkey, and I never smoked another cigarette. That was 24 years ago. (I think I was successful in part because I suffered through the process without the aid of chemical replacements. This was pre-nicotine patch. There was nicotine gum, but I wasn’t attracted to that strategy.) Suffering for that victory, that solution to the problem of my compromised health, made me value my success even more. If at any point in my smoking cessation journey someone uttered those condescending words in my general direction – “You just have to WANT to quit!” – I would have had to bite my tongue REALLY HARD. I know why I’m quitting. It’s a decision that I made. I don’t need you to tell me that if I just WANT to quit, I’ll effortlessly break my addiction overnight and ride off on a unicorn into a field of flowers and happy little bunnies.

Overcoming addiction of any kind is never easy, no matter if someone WANTS to do it or not.

But I digress. My point is, make a resolution, for the New Year or on any other day. Think of it as going after a solution. Focus on seizing something that will change your life for the better if you capture it. You’re not just making a change (passive connotation). You’re taking action (aggressive connotation). So be aggressive in tackling your resolution. Be a New Year’s resolution badass. Go for it.

Another thing people commonly say: “Do it for yourself. If you do it for someone else, you won’t succeed.” Again, I disagree. I mean, I don’t think this is always the case.

Last year, my main New Year’s resolution was to go cruelty-free… for Ronnie James, my feline fur-child. As Callaghan and I tried desperately to save his life, I told the Wrah-Wrah that I’d make every effort to avoid purchasing and using personal care products and cosmetics made by companies who engage in animal cruelty practices. (Granted, this wasn’t difficult, as I’d already been boycotting a couple of big-name brands for years to avoid contributing to their human rights violations. Boycotting companies that test on animals wasn’t a far stretch from that.)

I did it for Ronnie James. He died five months into the year, but I’m still doing it. For him. For all animals, but first and foremost for him. And doing it for him has kept me motivated to stick to my resolution more than I would were I just “doing it for myself.” In a strange sense I can’t really explain, the act of consciously and continuously striving to remove myself from the cycle of animal suffering at human hands keeps Ronnie James alive.

This strategy of goal-planning works for me, anyway. Everyone is different, but it might work for you, too. It would be worth trying! Dedicate your resolution to someone who deeply matters to you. Make them a promise you won’t want to break, and you might find that it’s easier to stick to your efforts.

This brings me to Resolutionary Road, 2016! I have more than one resolution. Here’s my list:

1). Get more sleep on a regular basis.

2). Improve my French (conversation).

3). Commit to strength-training.

Getting more sleep was my secondary resolution in 2015. Since I failed completely, it’s at the top of my 2016 list. I really, really need to get more sleep. Here, again, is the difference between wants and needs: I don’t WANT to get more sleep. I WANT the opposite… I want more hours in the day. I want to stay up until 3:00am, because for some reason, I’m often possessed by a rush of creative energy at around 11:00pm every night, and I’m afraid that if I don’t utilize it, I’ll squander it. But more sleep is an absolute necessity for my health, so this year, I’m going to try to shut everything down at 10:00pm so I can be in bed by 10:30pm. I get up at 5:30am on weekdays, so this would give me seven hours of sleep IF I fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. (Which never happens. But nearly seven hours of sleep would be a great improvement over the four-five hours I typically get.)

I dedicate this resolution to Mom, who always worries that I don’t sleep enough. I don’t want her to worry about me for any reason, because worrying is detrimental to her health.

For my second resolution, improving my French conversation, I simply need to speak more French. I have a bad habit of answering Callaghan in English when he speaks to me in French. The divide between my comprehension level and speaking level is now so great that it’s ridiculous! I have no excuses. I just need to speak it more; that’s the only way I’m going to improve.

I dedicate this resolution to Callaghan, obviously!

As for strength-training, I need to make that a regular part of my workout routine. I’m not weak, but I would feel better in a stronger body. Doing pull-ups in my home office doorway every once in a while isn’t sufficient, and shadow-boxing with dumbbells isn’t cutting it, either. We have heavier dumbbells, so I need to start using them.

I dedicate this resolution to Ming, my best friend who died suddenly in 2003. Ming was one of my Tae Kwan Do instructors, and as friends, we developed a brother-sister bond that made him a member of my family. Ming was an extremely talented martial arts athlete, and his work ethic in the do-jang inspires me to this day. Improving my strength so I can be a better martial artist is my tribute to him.

 

Ming and me, 1996

Ming and me, 1996

 

Happy Resolutioning, if you do it!

Vehement boxing gloves – cruelty-free to animals, but not necessarily to your opponent!

As many of you know, I’ve been steadily working on switching over to cruelty-free cosmetics and other such products, as this was my primary New Year’s resolution for 2015. I also resumed my vegan eating habits back in April, which didn’t involve much of a change, as the only animal product I was consuming was a little dairy here and there. After three years, I’m finally back to my pre-France lifestyle, and I feel physically fantastic! Although I’m still floundering in the sleep department (a secondary-though-not-less-important New Year’s resolution was to “get more sleep” – still working on that one), I’m enjoying much more energy now.

After making the cruelty-free commitment with my personal care products and returning to 100% vegetarianism (aka dietary veganism), it made sense to extend the latter choice in the direction of classical veganism, beginning with examining the materials of the things I use and wear. I found that there were a few leather items left in my life at that point, the main one being out in the garage: my pair of boxing gloves. My boxing gloves were made of leather. I started researching to find an alternative. I only felt a little bit guilty springing for some new boxing gloves when a). I’m in financial recovery mode (from Ronnie James’ medical ordeal), and b). I had a beautiful, fairly new pair already (given to me for my birthday last December). But I’m passionate about animals, passionate about combat sports, passionate about my New Year’s resolution, and, before he died, I promised Ronnie James that I’d re-dedicate myself to our favorite cause.

Some of you might be thinking, But Kristi! Boxing gloves are made for hitting people. Why worry about hurting animals in the making of something intended to cause pain to others? I know it seems counter-intuitive. I know. But engaging in combat sports with adult human beings who know they’re going to get hit is not the same thing as taking something cruelly from non-consenting beings. I’m just going to leave my reasoning at that brief statement and get right to the point:

I stumbled upon Vehement, a company that makes boxing gloves, MMA gear and other combat sports equipment and apparel. This is all they do, and they do it very well… without harming animals, humans, or the environment.

 

"Sustainable." "Vegan." "Sweatshop free." What the label doesn't say, but could: "HARDCORE" and "KICK-ASS."

“Sustainable.” “Vegan.” “Sweatshop free.” What the label doesn’t say, but could: “HARDCORE” and “KICK-ASS.”

 

Vehement is a German company, but their international shipping rates are reasonable ($13.00 to the States), and the combat sports gear they make is extremely well-engineered and on point. When you go to their web site, you’ll find a statement that reads:

DESTROY YOUR ENEMIES, NOT YOUR PLANET.

Our hand sewn, sweatshop-free fight gear is made of 100% Battleskin™, an extremely advanced artificial leather: sustainable, durable and vegan. We won several awards for our innovative boxing gloves, MMA gloves and shin guards.

The Wolfheart X2 gloves that I purchased (I chose 12 oz) are a superb all-purpose pair of boxing gloves. Also, did I mention that this conscientious company’s logo is a beautiful wolf face? This is because Vehement shares their profits with the Wolf Conservation Center NY (WCC). That’s right… when you purchase gear from Vehement, you’re contributing to a great cause! From the Wolf Conservation Center NY site:

The WCC’s mission is to promote wolf conservation by teaching about wolves, their relationship to the environment, and the human role in protecting their future. The WCC accomplishes this mission through onsite and offsite education programs emphasizing wolf biology, the ecological benefits of wolves and other large predators, and the current status of wolf recovery in the United States.

 

Vehement Wolfheart X2 all-purpose boxing gloves (12 oz)

Vehement Wolfheart X2 all-purpose boxing gloves (12 oz)

 

I love the design and fit of Vehement's Wolfheart X2 boxing gloves.

I love the design and fit of Vehement’s Wolfheart X2 boxing gloves.

 

Vehement sells hand wraps, shin guards, MMA gloves and two types of boxing gloves, as well as clothing and water bottles. If you or someone you know is interested in combat sports gear, I highly recommend this company! Check them out, explore the goods and read their blog posts and announcements: http://vhmnt.com/

In case you’re short on time, I’m pasting in this description of the gloves that I got:

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-VehementWebSiteText

 

I’m extremely happy with the fit, feel and performance of these vegan boxing gloves. I honestly can’t say enough about these gloves – they’re simply the best boxing gloves I’ve ever had (and I’ve owned pairs from both Title and Everlast). Two Battleskin-encased thumbs up!

[NOTE: This post is not sponsored by Vehement]

Transitions! (New Schedule)

I’ve been inconsistent here these last few weeks as I’ve been adjusting to a new schedule, namely, having one again.

 

My agenda (Franklin-Covey)

My agenda (Franklin-Covey)

 

Naturally cut out for a structured life, I thrive in the rootedness that routine provides. Living with a crazy spontaneous artist has been a healthy counter-balance to this, but I’m happy to resume the habit of setting the alarm and getting out of the house by a certain time in the mornings. This has required re-calibration of my inner clocks, which have been at liberty to run amok for a long time now, it seems!

While I personally enjoy mapping out my day, it’s been a while since I’ve done it on a regular basis, so being able to ease back into the practice as my current circumstances allow has been a fortunate thing.

My inner clocks are usually in need of re-calibration, anyway. For one thing, they often tick at odds with other peoples’ inner clocks. I’m remembering how my X had been put-upon by my middle-of-the-night inner clock when it would clang, “YAY ENERGY!!! IT’S PAST MIDNIGHT – NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO CLEAN THE BATHROOM!!”

“I just don’t understand it,” he’d mutter with annoyance, pillow half over his head as I whizzed around (though silently, ninja-like, so I never really understand why it bothered him) with the all-purpose spray cleaner. “It’s like you get a second burst of energy in the middle of the night.”

“Energy” was the operative word, I guess. He was sensitive to the energies of others; regardless of my earnest attempts at silence, the underlying waves of my stirred-up, midnight oil energy disturbed his own sleep schedule. The poor guy had a hard time getting me to sleep “early,” but over time he did manage to cure me of my inability to resist the urge to clean things at 2:00AM.

Now, I hardly clean at all.

See how that works? My X had to put up with me cleaning the bathroom in the middle of the night. Now, Callaghan has to put up with me not cleaning. (I exaggerate. Of course I clean… every once in a while. He cleans the bathroom more often than I do, though.)

In my defense, I don’t think I ever actually planned to clean the bathroom in the middle of the night. It always started rather innocuously. I’ll just wipe this area here around the sink. Then, since I’m doing that, I might as well do the mirror. A process would emerge. Next thing I knew, the whole bathroom would be underway.

Where my X had to deal with my late-night cleaning inclinations, Callaghan has to deal with my late-night, over-active train of thought. Such as it is that he’s established what he calls the “11:00PM Rule,” meaning, he’s placed a moratorium on “thinking about things” at 11PM. That’s right… 11:00PM is Last Call for “freaking out” at our place. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t ever sleep,” he says, reasonably.

And it’s true… I’ve had a hard time falling asleep for years now. Recently, too, this all changed, but not because of the 11:00PM Rule. The change just happened to coincide with when I started oil-pulling exactly two weeks ago. Somehow, I haven’t experienced insomnia since Day One of experimentation with that ancient and now-trendy practice. This was not an effect I’d anticipated when I started. It’s been completely wonderful.

 

My alarm clock. It's 11:00PM!

My alarm clock. It’s 11:00PM!

 

Anyway, all of this to say that my schedule has changed, including my writing schedule here… I’m in a transition phase, and things will even out eventually!

The Elisabeth Shue Stage of Sleep

A few days ago, Callaghan listened to a documentary and then informed me that sleep scientists have made a discovery: dreams we have during the R.E.M. stage of sleep tend to be negative or unhappy, and when we frequently dream during this stage, we are more likely to be depressed.

It was like setting my mind down where the path branches off every which way. I immediately barraged Callaghan with questions. (Being married to me, he gets to put up with my questions. He’s doing a pretty good job so far. Meaning, he’s still here.)

“I thought we only dream during R.E.M. – ?”

“Well, I don’t know, the scientists said that we dream at different stages.”

“What stages?”

“I’m not sure, but that was a part of the discovery… that there are different dream stages.”

“What if the dream isn’t good or bad, but just weird? Did the scientists say if there’s a weird-dream stage?”

“I don’t remember. I was working as I was listening, so my attention wasn’t all there during some of it.”

“…what about those dreams where they’re good, but when you wake up and realize it was just a dream, you get depressed? How do those fit into the theory? Are all ‘good’ dreams really good if they make you feel terrible afterward? How can we know what’s really a good dream? Did they say?”

Poor Callaghan.

I had this suspicion that the scientists purposefully side-stepped the weird-dream issue because they didn’t want to end up with an awkward obligation to admit that some dreams are just neutral, dreams that can’t be quantified by absolutes like “good” and “bad.” “Weird” opens up a whole new sub-category of the theory that wouldn’t fit into the 90-minute time restraint of the documentary.

Two nights later, I dreamed about Elisabeth Shue, an actress I hadn’t recently seen, heard of, or thought about. She’s not a celebrity who turns up in Who Wore It Best or photographed going to Starbucks or rumored to be hiding a baby bump or anything like that. She’s not a chased-by-the-Paparazzi celebrity. I’ve never held a particular admiration of her. I have no opinion of her as being especially beautiful or talented. I just fell asleep, and there she was:

Elisabeth Shue

Elisabeth Shue

Elisabeth Shue was presenting at a major awards ceremony, wearing a sleek, dark gown. Her hair was lifted into an upsweep. She looked elegant, and she exuded delight… not in presenting awards, but in anticipation of something that was about to happen. Next thing, she was hang-gliding over a vast canyon. The night was inky black, and she was lit up like a comet on her hang-glider, leaving a trail of light as she went smoothly back and forth, high and low, occasionally looping upside down. The form of Elisabeth Shue was lost; I could only see that sleek, bright light. But I knew it was her, and I knew that hang-gliding had been the main part of her agenda all along.

“What do you think the scientists would say about that?” I asked Callaghan as we drank our coffee in bed. The dream had been neither good nor bad. The only thing I felt was Elisabeth Shue’s emotion, not mine. “Would this land in the weird-dream stage of sleep that the scientists didn’t address, if such a stage even exists? Maybe there’s a black hole stage of sleep where we dream in-between dreams.”

Since then, Callaghan hasn’t told me about any documentaries he’s listened to. I can’t imagine why not….