SURVIVING 5 WEEKS WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING, IN 90+ DEGREE WEATHER: PART 1

We Americans are so spoiled, in these modern times. Isn’t it great! While there are other people in the world, starving, stuck in war torn countries, and living in bug infested huts, I have the audacity to get my panties in a wad, when the wi-fi glitches up for a few minutes. God forbid if the internet is out, for a whole day. Then my other personality, Princess Prima Donna, comes out. If we don’t have any hot water available at the moment when I WANT to take a shower, I just take a baby wipe bath. Cold showers are for the house plants, not my supple delicate skin. Well, this spoiled princess was forced to rough it for over a month, when our air conditioner upstairs quit working. This happened in the middle of May, and we live in Florida. May, in hot and humid Florida, is when the temperature gets in the 90’s. The worst time to lose such an important creature comfort. Even worse, we could not find someone who would be willing to fix the air conditioner. Or maybe we could’ve. 

Covid didn’t shut down air conditioning repair businesses. My parents are big on supporting small businesses over corporate ones, which is great—except for when you come across one of those small businesses that will never be anything more than small. My parents are such good people. They were so nice and patient with these unprofessional shlups, which only prolonged our suffering.    

First, dad got in touch with two guys—a father and son—who fixed our upstairs air conditioner, the last time. Things worked out with them, and I was impressed with their work ethics. When they made a mistake, and installed a wrong part, they owned up to it. So they came back to fix the mistake, and it was free of charge. The only problem was, the father felt very uncomfortable working at our house, because he didn’t speak english, and nobody in our house speaks Spanish. His son knew english, and had to be there to interpret for him. I guess having to depend on his son made him feel even more uncomfortable, because it was a downer on his pride, or something.  

dad texted the son. He even opened a hole in the kitchen ceiling downstairs for the guys, so they could climb into the duct work to fix things. Then three weeks go by… 

*** 

During the first couple of weeks, the upstairs part of the house became a giant slow cooker, which was taking a tole on my concentration. I struggled with my book revisions, word by tedious word. As I sweated bullets, and fought the body’s defensive urge to want to conserve energy, and be a lazy blob. Both my ceiling fan and oscillating fan were kept on full-blast. The oscillating fan was set to not move, and I had it pointed directly at my work desk. Still, it was soooooooo hot. 

The window and door were kept open too, for better air circulation. That was another challenge on my concentration. I hate doing anything with the door left open, because people could see me, and I can’t see them when they see me. It’s a paranoia thing that came about, since my vision crapped out. I really don’t have anything to hide from those I share the house with. It’s not like I’m working on top secret documents for the mob, but there’s the fear of things like, what if someone peaks in, and catches me in the act of flicking a booger. Or what if they see me so lost in thought, I don’t realize that I’m fiddling with my nipples? There was also the constant distraction of mom, who walked across the upstairs hallway, at least several times an hour. Carrying the squeaky wicker laundry basket back and forth, and slamming the hall closet door. 

Having to keep the window open was enough to put me on the verge of an artistic-person temper tantrum, but I couldn’t tell the crows and blue jays, “Hey! Shut the hell up! You can’t sing! Just let it go!” I couldn’t yell out the window to the neighbors, “Yo! Shut the hell up! The whole street doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your sprained rotator cuff! And will someone turn that damn radio off! Not everyone is in the mood to rock out to 15-minute commercial breaks about Dunk’n Doughnuts and 1-800 411-PAIN! And how many times a day do your freaking yards need to be mowed and weed whacked, people, sheesh!” Unfortunately, there was no better choice, but to either soldier on through the annoying distractions, or close my door and noise-canceling window, and die of heat stroke. 

Yes, I know, the simple solution to this was, to just work in the air conditioned downstairs. But there was no way to concentrate there either. Not with the way my brain operates. Mom was down there a lot, going from room to room, going outside and inside. Back and forth, in and out, doing loads of laundry, doing yard work, washing the clanking dishes, shuffling through crinkly papers and magazines, and there’s always some noisy objects to re-organize. All the while, she likes to keep the TV on, and graze on noisy snacks. The ringer to the parents’ house phone is on full-blast, and so is the phone’s speech impaired, caller ID announcer. 

Then when dad comes home from work, the TV volume goes up, and the two of them get into loud conversations about politics. The noise of snack grazing goes up in volume too, as dad likes to crunch on raw vegetables. When he answers his work phone, he can’t carry on a conversation with coworkers without pacing all around the house, and pretty much bellowing to the neighborhood, about Duke Energy’s latest problems with fixing transformers. 

There’s never that much activity upstairs. So trying to concentrate in my room was the less aggravating choice. 

The first couple of weeks of barely getting much writing done, was starting to get me depressed. As much as I love working on my books, working in broken up spurts, and needing to lay down and cool off in between, made the writing process as tediously drawn out as trying to hike across the country, with narcolepsy. 

As week two smoldered into week three, the temperature gradually rose. During the day, I had to put the full blast oscillating fan right next to my work desk, and keep a bottle of water with me, 24/7. 

The nights were hot too, but maybe ten or more degrees lower. With the window open, and the two fans on high, it was actually kind of Pleasant. All I had to do to stay cool and dry, was to sleep in light pajamas, and take the comforter off the bed. The thought came to mind, of maybe going nocturnal for a time, and do my writing at night. Then again, there was no chance in hell I would be able to sleep during the day, through the sweltering heat, and all the lawn mowing, and mom’s closet door slamming. 

The parents and I noticed that we slept better, with fresh air coming into our rooms, and hearing all the sounds of nature. The crickets and frogs were like Mother Earth’s lullaby, tapping into a primitive part of our evolved human brains, and reconnecting us with our ancient ancestors who were one with the rest of the world’s untamed flora and fawna. Then along came a limpkin, and the tranquility of nature was screwed.   

A limpkin is a large, plain and average looking brown bird with a very long beak, and a squawk that would even get on crows’ and blue jays’ nerves. It’s a shrill, squeaky, squawk that sounds like a giant seagull being brutally tortured. Or like the piercing screams of a giant toddler having a temper tantrum.  

At that time, because of the covid forcing people to not go out as much, more wild creatures felt safe to roam beyond their usual habitats, and settle into new territories. During the past six years that the parents and I lived in St. Cloud, we’d never had limpkins living in our area. Gina, who lived in Kissimmee for ten years, had suddenly started to hear limpkins’ banshee cries in the wee hours of the night too. They had their shrieking  fits at all unpredictable hours of the day or night, which means that they aren’t totally nocturnal. We assumed that their obnoxious behavior was probably because it was their mating season. 

Sometimes our neighborhood limpkin shrieked for love, at the top of its lungs, at a decent hour of the morning, like 7:00 or 8:00-ish. Other times, it started at around 4:00 A M, or even 2:00 A M. And once it got going, it took a long time to shut up. I was surprised that a neighbor or two didn’t hunt that bird down, and shoot it. I sure as hell wanted to.   

Once again, the simple solution should’ve been to just go downstairs to sleep. There’s a comfortable couch in the fireplace room I could’ve crashed on, but I was afraid of disturbing Christa’s sleep. She used to stay in the upstairs guest room, when she visited us, which is next door to my room. She’s a light sleeper, and often complained that my snoring kept her awake. Once the downstairs guest room was added to the house, she never stayed upstairs again, unless our grandma was staying over too. If I started snoring in the fireplace room, she would’ve heard it, and it would’ve kept her awake. She’s just that light of a sleeper. 

After three weeks of not being able to concentrate on my work during the day, and getting my sleep disrupted at night, I was really starting to hate those air conditioner guys. 

*** 

By the end of the third week, dad finally texted the air conditioner repair guy’s son again, and let him know that he had been waiting to hear back from him, for weeks. The son’s excuse was, “Sorry, we were busy.” 

I thought this was a lame excuse. Unless there really was another crisis going on, where people’s air conditioners were breaking down, all over Florida, one after the other, and repairers couldn’t keep up with the demand. The son was even too busy to take a few seconds out of his day to return dad’s text? Seriously?

Looking back on it now, I know I should’ve been more meddling in this situation. I should’ve snuck around the house to grope for dad’s phone, when everybody else was either asleep, or at Gina’s. He has an I-phone too. If I made the effort to find it, I would’ve told his Siri to turn VoiceOver on. So I could unlock his phone, and read through his text messages. I believe he didn’t have his screen set up to need a pass code to unlock it. I didn’t know this son’s name, but I would’ve figured out who he is, by the context of his and dad’s exchange of texts. Then I would’ve either texted him, pretending to be dad. Or I would’ve memorized this guy’s name or number, and text him myself. I wouldn’t have raised hell, just yet. Posing as dad, I would’ve asked this son questions such as—When do you think you will be available? Will you be available or not? Please get back to me. Thank you. If I were texting him from my phone, I would’ve let him know that I was dad’s daughter, and tell him that I got his number off the internet. My texts would’ve been more pleading and pushy about why we need our air fixed, and I would’ve thrown in some mentioning of my disabilities for a flair of manipulation.    

Dad was just too darn passive. He didn’t want to get on the son’s case about forgetting to return his texts, because he was busy. Dad worked for a power company, for over 40 years. So he has a lot of empathy for those who work in utility service jobs, and have to deal with companies’ and customers’ demands and expectations. 

As for me, empathy shmempathy. 

Come to find out, those guys were not too busy. Gina and Carlos’s air conditioner broke, shortly after ours did, and they called on the same two guys. The guys were communicative with Carlos, and fixed their air, right away. Most likely because Carlos speaks Spanish. So they just didn’t want to work at our house, because the father felt too uncomfortable with the language barrier. I’m no business woman, but if I were them, I would’ve first made up a plausible but polite and tactful, bullshit excuse about why my service couldn’t be available, for the time being. Then I would’ve given dad a list of other repair services that might be more helpful. Instead, they just brushed dad off, and left us hanging. After the son returned dad’s text, with his “busy” excuse, dad never heard from him again. Bad business.   

By week four, dad got ahold of a different repair service, recommended by our friend, Valery. When the guy first came to the house, I was highly impressed. He was a young guy named Juan, who did air conditioning repair jobs in multiple counties. He drove all the way to St. Cloud, from Tampa, to fix our air conditioner, at 9:30 on a Friday night. He was an angel in human form, selflessly working extra hours, for the sake of helping others… 

Or so I thought… 

I don’t know shit about the mechanics of air conditioners. So forgive me for being awfully vague about what was wrong with ours. Juan didn’t have the part he needed to fix it, but he did something to temporarily recharge the thing. He said that it should keep our air working over the weekend until he could come back with the part, on Monday. 

The air conditioner worked for a mere few hours. Juan only recharged it part-way. When dad told him about it, Juan claimed that he didn’t know that not fully charging it would make it quit so soon. 

He promised that he’d be at the house, Monday morning. So dad took that Monday off. Morning turned to afternoon, and Juan hadn’t showed up, or even called or texted dad to let him know that he would be running late. Dad was the one who had to text him, and ask him what was going on. Juan said that he had two other jobs to take care of, before coming to our house. Around 12:30-ish, he called dad to let him know that he was just leaving Tampa, and was on his way. Tampa is about an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive away, depending on traffic. So we figured he’d show up sometime around 2:00. How about, it was almost 5:00 when the ass pimple finally arrived, and with no explanation for what took him so long. So dad took the day off of work for nothing. Bad enough that the guy was seven hours late, he didn’t even have the damn part to fix the air conditioner yet! The best he could do was give it another half-assed recharging, and he promised to come back tomorrow afternoon.  

Tuesday came, and the incompetent bastard stood us up. He didn’t show up, and he didn’t call or text dad to explain why he couldn’t show up. No apologies. No offering service discounts to make up for his mistake. Nothing. He just seemed to not give a shit. 

By now, it had been almost five weeks with no air conditioning in half the house, and living with a creepy huge hole in the kitchen ceiling. Keeping the ceiling open this long welcomed in an invasion of flies. Dad insisted on taking care of the air conditioner issue, but he was still being too nice and too patient, and a total push-over with these repair service duds. And he didn’t want to deal with me, mom, and Christa complaining about it. That only made him get snippy with us. The air conditioner issue was causing tension between him and mom. Throughout that month, they were bickering more and more often. Dad would get irritable with mom, and mom would get very critical and knit picky. They bickered about stupid Juan, that Tuesday night. Mom was so fed up with the situation that she went upstairs in their room to eat dinner. 

I decided enough was enough. If dad insisted on patiently waiting around for whenever Juan felt like doing his job, I wasn’t going to stick around. It had been more than a month, and I was dead sick of living this way. I texted Gina, and told her about what was going on, and asked her if I could stay over at her house for a while until things get resolved. Thankfully, she was cool with this. So I packed up my necessities and a bunch of clothes, and had dad drive me there. When I explained to him why I wanted to leave, he was not at all happy with my attitude. 

The way I felt about it was, if he insisted on handling the situation, I wished he would be more assertive about it. Pester Juan. Forget Juan, and move on to the next service. If he paid for the silly prank of a repair service that Juan gave us, then demand a refund. And if he can’t get a refund, raise hell about it. Give Juan’s service negative reviews. I wanted him to stick up for himself as a customer, and stop letting these bogus repair services take him for a chump. 

Dad was just so patient and empathetic and understanding towards Juan. He’s not one to want to nag, and be a pain in the ass. He’s considerate towards others, and gives them the benefit of a doubt. He doesn’t want to get ugly and vengeful towards people. I don’t like being that way either, but unfortunately, sometimes you have to be a bossy, demanding, career threatening pain in the ass to get things moving. The way dad felt about it was, he was handling the situation the best he could, and if I didn’t like it, that wasn’t his problem. 

Then he left in a huff. Jaden, who was getting ready for bed, overheard some of me and dad’s disagreement. So me and Gina had to carefully explain to the seven-year-old, why grandpa and aunt Tia were arguing, and why I was coming over to stay with them, at such an unusual hour. I brought over my set of Harry Potter books for him to borrow, which helped him completely forget about the family squabble. Gina put my luggage in her nice and cozy guest room. The guest bathroom, which I had all to myself, was just a few strides away, down the hall. I was in a part of her echoey new house, where I could move around during the night, and not have to worry about the noise waking up Jaden. I was so grateful that Gina let me stay there, figuring that living with the Jaramillos might end up being my new home… 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THREE GROWN-ASS FORTY-SOMETHINGS DECIDE TO HAVE A SLEEPOVER

It was the parents’ 45th anniversary, and I was so proud of them. Marriage is such a lost art, these days. Too many people just wimp out and give up, after a few years. There seems to be this self-love, “I got to do what’s best for me.” epidemic going on. (Bleck) 

Sadly, because of the Corona virus, they couldn’t go out on a romantic date, or a vacation. So Christa and I decided to help make their special day more romantic, by letting them have the house to themselves. My other sister, Gina, picked us up, and took us to her house. Yeah, we’re all grown-ass women in our 40s, but we thought it would be fun to have a sisters’ sleepover. 

Sisters’ sleepover! Woohoo! 

Because of our busy schedules, the three of us don’t hang out, like we used to, when we were twenty-something drinking buddies. Christa has been living in Panama, for the past 14 years. When she came to the U S to visit, she still couldn’t use that time as a vacation. No matter where in the world she is, her digital marketing job keeps her bondaged to the computer, six days a week. Sometimes seven. She hangs out with me and the parents, or Gina and Jaden, whenever there’s a few spare hours here and there. Gina’s world revolves around Jaden, and my world revolves around my writing aspirations. 

Sisters’ sleepover! Hell yeah! 

I looked forward to, after Jaden was put to bed. I imagined we would be hanging out until some indecent late hour, blabbing and drinking, and being a group of comedians. The evening started out pretty cool. Christa and I had our cocktail happy hour, we had dinner, and spent time with Jaden. Then it was time for Jaden’s drawn-out bedtime ritual. 

My little nephew is a sweet, smart, and very happy kid, but boy does it take forever to get him to sleep. The first part of the ritual is poop time. This child can’t simply sit on the toilet, take a dump, and be done with it. He has to really concentrate, but just sitting and concentrating is too boring for him. He can’t poop unless the bathroom door is open, and Gina is there to sit by the doorway, and chit chat with him, or read to him. Other grown-ups are welcome to join the potty clotch, but everyone has to sit by the doorway. Standing by the doorway makes him uncomfortable, and messes up his pooping zen. 

Even with someone there to keep him entertained, while obediently sitting on the floor, he still can’t just let nature do it’s thing. Since toilets are stationary, and they are made for sitting, they weren’t designed with hyperactive children in mind. He has to constantly get off the toilet, an walk around, while talking a mile a minute. And jump and dance, and do Ninjoggo moves, or wizarding moves. This draws out the first part of the ritual all the more. When the poop is freed, at last, it’s teeth brushing time, shower time, and then bed time. I emphasized the word bed, because this is the most dragged out part of the ritual. Jaden can’t just enjoy his mom reading another chapter to him, get tucked in, and go to sleep. He makes this OCD-ish, big ordeal out of getting comfortable. Fluffing and flipping his pillows, again and again, and shuffling his covers around until they’r on him a certain way. When the book is closed, the light is turned off, and Jaden is finally comfortable, it’s time for Gina to stay there, and chit chat with him some more. Then she has to hold his hand until he falls asleep. I’m not exaggerating. There had been times when Gina, or whoever tucks him in, had to hold his hand for almost a half hour. During the hand holding process, everything and everyone must be perfectly still and quiet, because he wakes up so easily. And if he wakes up, it takes even longer to get him to fall asleep. 

God only knows what type of traumatic thing could’ve happened in Jaden’s past life, but he’s always been extremely insecure, during the night. So he has to sleep with his door open. This wouldn’t have been a problem, if the huge house that Gina just moved into, didn’t have so much tile flooring, and high arched ceilings. So every little sound ECHO!!… Echo!… echoes. So us three sisters having a blab-off was out of the question. We had to be as quiet as humanly possible, or else me might wake up Jaden. Gina put the loud dishwasher on, but for some reason, that sound doesn’t disturb Jaden’s sleep. But all other existing sounds would. We couldn’t talk. We had to whisper, and we couldn’t laugh out loud. Gina didn’t want us to even use the ice maker. Every move we made—whether it was getting something to drink, getting something out of our overnight bag, pulling out a chair, walking and breathing, or any other movement that sets off some level of sound vibration—we had to be so ridiculously careful about it. 

I didn’t have the heart to whisper my complaint, but this sucked. Never before, was staying at Gina’s house so uncomfortable.  

Then Gina’s husband, Carlos, came home from work, and that was the end of the three of us spending time together. Gina and Carlos settled on the couch, and mumbled to each other, while they watched TV. Christa and I couldn’t get into the show, because the TV was at a dog whistle volume. I attempted to carry on a whisper conversation with her, but I couldn’t hear her, with that loud-as dishwasher echoing through the house. So me and Christa withdrew to the kitchen table, where she did computer stuff, and I read emails until 10:30. Then I went to bed. 

Sisters’ sleepover, yo! Someone should’ve called the cops on us wild and crazy bitches! 

It was worth one night of being uncomfortable. Over at my house, our parents had a very nice anniversary celebration. (I’ll leave out the graphic details.) Man, was I glad to be back home, where it’s never uncomfortabel… 

Then the air conditioner stopped working. 

Post you next weekend!   

   

TheHostage, The Gimmick, And The Gravity Blanket

Wow, it’s been three months since my last post. A bloggers’ faux pas. Well, NOW I feel more confident that I could be more consistent, and turn this sad and lonely blog into something that could really connect with people. Thanks to the hostage in my house, a change of title and tag line, and a gravity blanket. 

The hostage in my house, is my awesome oldest sister, Christa, who lives in Panama. She came to the U S, back in February, for another typical, routined visit with the family. Now it’s six months later, and Panama still won’t open their borders, because of the covid. Airports are strictly open for freight only. So poor Christa has no better choice, but to stay with us. The parents and I keep her stored in the downstairs guest room. She gets three meals a day. And we unchain her from the bed post, when it’s cocktail hour. Nah, just kidding. 

Anyway, Christa is the founder of the Writer’s Mastermind Group. A private FaceBook group where writers get both support, and educational courses to help them make the most out of their writing career, or their writing aspirations. The courses consist of video tutorials, and work books you can download. Every month—once or twice a month—the group gets together for a support conference call, on Zoom, where we discuss our writing setbacks and/or accomplishments, and what we’d gotten out of the latest course. Twice a week, the group also meets up on Zoom, for a write-in. Write-ins are to help our modern-day, crazily busy people make some time set aside to solely focus on their writing. We get on Zoom, we chit-chat for a while, and then Christa sets a timer for one hour. This is our hour to get as much writing done as we can. During this time, she puts everybody, including herself, on mute. Because you know how moody and temperamental we creative people are, if WE CAN’T CONCENTRATE! When the hour is up, each person talks about their progress, and we just hang out for a little while. 

Back in June, one of the lessons was about writing your author manifesto. This included things like, planning your daily writing schedule. Setting your goals for your main project—such as a novel, and goals for side projects—such as writing short stories, and submitting them to literary magazines. Really, there’s so much more complex details to the manifesto, than how I’m describing it. I don’t remember a lot of the planning and plotting, and technical details you should keep track of, if you want to be a more successful author. I wrote my own, much simpler version of a manifesto, with a modest number of goals, and a schedule that’s more compatible with my psychosis brain. Instead of setting all these little daily time slots for working on my second novel, writing blog posts, writing short stories, helping fellow group members, etc. Starting in July, the first week of every month, was to be reserved for writing that month’s blog posts. Week days were scheduled for working on book 2 of the HECCTROSSIPY series, and reading. Weekends were scheduled for getting as much social media obligations accomplished, as possible. None of that hour-by-hour stuff. So simple. This was a juggling act I could handle. Woohoo! After writing my Manifesto, I was READY. Motivated! PUMPED! 

Pumped for a whole day. 

The manifesto schedule was to start in July. Just so I could have an excuse to do nothing, but work on book 2, for the rest of June. Then when July came, I was like, meh. The Corona virus was my next excuse to just stay fixated on my novel. Because, what if I’m on borrowed time? I won’t want the good old grim rieper to be dropping on by until after I finish writing both series first. Doing all that other stuff will take away from my precious writing. 

Then along came the Writers’ Mastermind course for July. It was all about stuff like, making your author brand, designing your website, extending your reach among the writing and book nerd community—and so much more. Now that course got me PUMPED. Despite all the depressing visual technical things that I can’t do. 

The very non-blind friendly side of working to become a successful author, inspired me to change my blog’s title to No Pictures Allowed. It was always a blog made of plain text, which, I guess, made it appear half-assed, and lacking in creativity and self expressiveness. It probably gave off an , “Eh… Whatever…” type of impression. Like I don’t feel like putting the time and effort into making my blog shine, because I really don’t care about trying to attract a bunch of readers. NOT TRUE, of course.  

Yes, it’s a well-known fact that, in order for your blog to attract attention, it has to have pictures, and other visually stimulating thingies. Fucking pictures. I hate them! When my voiceover sees pictures, she’ll either say something like, “01-205-0/8/1550/jpg… image”. Or she’ll describe them, like a cave man, “Image may contain, person… shoes… tree… cloud” Screw pictures! So now the title let’s people know, right away, that what they see is what they get. Or, more like, what they don’t see. Hopefully, making kind of a gimmick out of deliberately leaving out pictures, for the love of focussing on words, would make the blog not seem lame, and written by a cheapskate. 

My author website, on the other hand, OK, that’s where the visual stuff is an absolute MUST. But I think I have enough cash saved up, to bribe computer-geek Christa into designing my website. I’ll even throw in, buying all our vodka and gin, for the next month or so. 

I was especially glad to know, during the group’s Zoom meeting about July’s course, that it’s easy to redeem yourself on social media—if your biggest problem with it, is not being consistent enough. For years, I’ve had the habit of getting really into Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, in fleeting spurts, with long hiatuses in between. So I dreaded promoting the September release of HECCTROSSIPY 1: The Legend of the Land. I thought that, how could I expect people to care when, for so many years, I didn’t put in that much effort into paying attention to what they had to say, in their posts. How could I expect anyone to be interested in building an author/reader relationship with me, if they know that I’ll most likely stop communicating with them, without explanation, and disappear for months. According to fellow group members, as long as you set time aside for social media—for example, Facebook on Mondays and Tuesdays, Twitter on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and WordPress on Fridays and Saturdays—and stay consistent with that schedule, your past inconsistencies will be redeemed. Of course, putting yourself out there every day, is more effective, but fellow group members reassured me that it’s perfectly OK to just do the social media thing, on the weekends. As long as I stay consistent, people will quickly forget about my mistakes of being unreliable. Like that time when a fellow blogger and I made arrangements for him to become one of my beta readers for HECCTROSSIPY 3. I never even started the first draft for the third book, because I got side-tracked by revising books 1 and 2, and the DARK ADMIRATION spin-off trilogy. We became Facebook friends, but then I went on another Facebook hiatus, and hadn’t texted a single word to him, in six months. Or somebody would respond to a comment I made, on their blog post. But I would get side tracked, for whatever reason, and not respond back until a week later. 

This self shaming rant leads to, why the gravity blanket is so great. A gravity blanket is simply a heavy weighted blanket, but not like a blanket designed for sub-zero winter weather. It’s filled with something—perhaps led—that makes it extra heavy. It’s kind of like that led cape you put over your body, while getting your teeth X-rayed, but a lot cozier. Several companies make them. The company that my dad ordered it from, makes gravity blankets in three weights, 10 pounds, 15 pounds, and 25 pounds. You’re not supposed to put them in the washing machine, (CLONK) but they come with a duvet. So you just take the duvet off, and wash that. 

Dad originally ordered it for mom, to help cure her insomnia. He thought the 25 pound one would be the most helpful. When she tried it, she hated it. Dad slept with it too, and didn’t seem to care for how it felt on him either. 

 Mom would go on and on about how awful her one-and-only experience with the gravity blanket was. How it was too hot, and what was dad thinking, getting the 25 pound blanket. 25 pounds is too much. He should’ve ordered the 10 pound one, but 10 pounds would probably be too heavy on her too. She complained about how hard it was to fold the bulky thing, when she was making the bed. Dad would get snippy and defensive about it, and this lead to much repetitious, old people bickering. I think they were contemplating sending the blanket back. It was a $200 investment. 

I borrowed it for a night, and it was love at first squoosh. So I adopted it, and never want to go back to sleeping with conventional covers again. The human body is so freaking weird. I don’t know what kinds of chemicals get released, when sleeping with extra weight on top of you, but this gravity blanket is amazingly therapeutic. I inherited mom’s post-40 insomnia, but thanks to the gravity blanket, I’m knocked out all night. No sleep aides, or struggling to keep the mind calm, required. The blanket also has a mood calming effect, and a mind calming effect. I can focus and concentrate better. No drugs needed! The weighted blanket—such a simple invention, and no-brainer way to improve the well-being of the mind and body. Even my pesky digestive problems are staved off.

Of course, the gravity blanket is no miracle cure-all. It’s not going to help me get thinner and younger, or make me live to 100, (Yikes!), but this new and improved mindset, and sense of focus and concentration really makes me ready to take on the Manifesto. Motivated. PUMPED… but more in a cool and collective sort of way. I can do this! HECCTROSSIPY and DARK ADMIRATION are going to happen! Look out, world! 

Post you next weekend!