Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Hypnos and Thanatos By John William Waterhouse (from
Sleep is as necessary as water and air. We die without it. They say sleep is when the body does "repair work," rebuilding muscle tissue, for example. Lack of sleep affects our cognitive processes, our creativity and our patience. I believe it.
A night owl (from
I was always a night owl, but it is only in the last few months that I have become an actual insomniac. For three days running, I got only four hours of sleep per night. By the third day, it was like being ill. And all the usual frustrations and snags became overwhelming.

Finally, yesterday I came home from school at about three in the afternoon, took off my shoes, climbed under the covers and fell into a deep sleep. I slept four hours until my sons asked me if we were going to eat dinner ever, but I went to sleep later that night like a normal person. It was wonderful. I got about 11 hours of sleep yesterday.
Gotta get myself a mask and earplugs like this.
Even so, I was still abnormally emotional today. School and life are wearing me down to a nub.

I am absolutely fed up with HSU, making it impossible to go there. There are numerous bureaucratic absurdities, but a good example is parking.
This makes it look as if there is parking, but it's a lie. It's staff, reserved, or already filled with cars.
Parking passes cost $150, but there's never parking available anyway. And even worse, right now there is construction going on that has taken away half the parking spots. Do you think they're building a parking lot? Of course not.

So instead of parking in the meagre HSU parking lots, you find metered parking on the street, provided you have change to feed the meter. And since you will be parked approximately half a mile away from classes, you damn sure better have enough change for several hours. Parking tickets cost $25. The whole thing is HSU's biggest scam.

If you dare to complain, then you're not "green" enough. You shouldn't be driving anyway because it's bad for the planet.
Image from
I take the bus when I can but it adds an hour or two of nothing-doing time to my life, since the bus to McKinleyville isn't regular nor is my schedule.

Monday, my boss drove me to school so that I could work right up until the moment I had to go to class. Then afterwards, walking out to the bus stop in the bitter cold and dark, I realized I hadn't brought my wallet-- no bus pass, no money, no way to get home. I had to call four friends before I found someone who was home.

At least I had four friends to call, each of whom would have come to get me! The worst thing is being all alone in the world. But I don't like having to ask for help. There are so many things I need to do that I can't do on my own. I'm trying, but it's hard.

It's likely that I will need to drop out of school in order to survive. A shame-- if I could only finish the semester, all that would remain would be my thesis. But honestly, I think I'm beat.


Anonymous said...

My dear K! Mymymy... I was wondering what's happening to you, you know? Long time, no read! Now I know. You're in a deep depression hun. You gotta pull yourself on your hair out of it. The other thought I had is that schoollife is just ment to be for youngsters... but... little K decided to give her life a twist or turn, so now PULL THIS THROUGH young lady! You know you can do it. Pay more attention to sleeping, eating, resting habbits, and don't forget the fun times like blogging, crocheting, and gardening, or clamming even, cooking, hanging out with friends. One step a time dear! You're strong and your life IS in order, don't convince yourself otherwise. If I'd been closer to you I'd have picked you up. I'm sure parking at the college sucks, find another way, like a carpool or something. Take turns in driving, so you would just have to put up with the hassle every 4 days or so? Know what I'm saying? Now drop everything, go outside for me to some CA beach, will ya? Let the sun burn down on you, let the wind blow through your hair and be glad it's not like here... SNOWING *ugh* Peter sweeped the snow for the millionth time this week already, and we're all sick with headcolds, heavy ones. That oughta cheer you up, doesn't it? Make your boys happy (Tristan, Skyler) and they'll make you happy in return, and then make them take turns with you with cooking dinner. How's that? Enough said. Love you girlfriend, sending hugs across the nasty weather and the ocean. R.

beachcomber said...

Another fine person beat down by what HSU calls a "parking permit" but everyone ELSE calls a hunting permit. The stress of university life is enough that parking shouldn't add to it...why does no one think to build multi-level lots around here? My two HSU girls suffer the same problem.

I hope you treat yourself to earplugs and eyemask and get a good catatonic sleep on occasion to pull you through. I also hope you don't pack it in. You're a wonderful writer. You're so close; you can do this. Take you boys for a cookout on the beach or something (maybe after this weather warms up a bit). SAD (seasonal affected disorder) gets to us all when it's like this. I'm rooting for you.

\ said...

Suzy can relate to you not liking to have to ask for help, but sometimes it's ok to not be so independent. One morning I had to hitchhike home from town after a wild night and this guy picked me up. I said thank you and he said thank you. I asked why are you thanking me? And he said that he had drove in to a carpenter job he had but there was no work that morning becuz the supplies hadn't arrived or something. Most peeps would be happy to have a day off but he was sad cuz he liked serving people --that's why he was a carpenter so he could be of service. But having no way to serve that day he was happy that he could at least help me. You don't meet many people like that. He told me that it made him feel better that he found someone in need so that he could be of service to someone that morning. I forget his name but he said he lived near Whitethorn construction. That dude gave me a lot more than a ride that day. He gave me a living philosophy.

Keep on keepin on Indie, and be receptive, you never know what might be around the next corner for you.


Joe Cornish said...

Indie, I have insomnia too. In my case it's caused by side effects of medications. I handle this problem by taking a sleeping pill. It helps me go to sleep and it also helps keep me sleeping and I have no morning-after side effects.

Is it possible that this could be at least a short term solution for your problem?

I disagree with R. You need some fun activities to balance out the stressful things in your life.

......and the next time the son wakes you up for dinner, tell him there's a box of breakfast cereal in the cupboard.

Anonymous said...

From the beginning of the environmental movement, it has paid to be rich, if you wanted to be green. For example, to avoid the use of cars, one must be able to afford an apartment close to HSU, which means one must be rich. The benefits of such an arrangement include being able to look down one's aristocratic nose at the working-class schmoes who must live at some distance from campus, drive automobiles from these distant homes to school, and spend sometimes over an hour circling around campus looking for one lousy parking space.

Sadly, the parking ordeal that you describe has been an ongoing feature of life at Humboldt State University since the days when it was known as Humboldt State College.

Have you ever tried Yoga? Or Transcendental Meditation? Because if you are going to contend with the Parking Ordeal at HSU, you need some help in dealing with the Stress!

No wonder you've been having a hard time getting any sleep!

Indie said...

Aw, you guys are bringing tears to my eyes; that's what kind of sap I am right now! I appreciate your words of encouragement because they really do help boost morale, which in turn makes us all more resilient. So thank you for taking the time to encourage me!

The bus is an acceptable solution when my older son isn't visiting from out of town and I'm not anxious to get home and spend time with him.

And in defense of the boys asking for dinner, I had promised them the day before that we'd go out to the Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet and they were really looking forward to it.

YOGA! is what I want to do, but I can't seem to fit it in. I love yoga; it relaxes you even as it makes you stronger.

I think it's not so much my age as my MS that makes the parking, hikes, hills and stairs such a trial. But HSU's lack of accommodation for disabled people is another rant entirely. I haven't made the leap yet to registering with disability services, but I'm close. What's preventing me is a sort of witch's brew of pride, shame and aversion to bureaucracy.

Thanks again, friends, for taking the time to understand.

steviewren said...

Don't give up! I was only able to finish 2 years of college after my divorce. I had to have a full time job by the time child support ended. I would love to finish my education, but there is no way to do so money for it either. Press on. You can do it. Do it for all of us who can't!

Laura Doyle said...

If it is any comfort to you at all, just know you're not alone in the frustration that life is becoming for many of us. It's not that we don't love ourselves, our families, our lives, it's just that we don't seem to have enough time for the things that are the REAL things, the IMPORTANT things and so we ironically get even further entangled in THINGS so that we can eventually disentangle ourselves but it just doesn't seem to get us anywhere because of the complications that seem to inevitably arise around every corner.

Maybe you know what I'm talking about, maybe you don't. But you're not alone. It's just that time in our history, I think, that things are falling and changing and being caught in the middle is very difficult. All I can say to you is that if you want something to change, then gather the courage and make it change. Otherwise accept it the way it is. The in between is exhausting...thoroughly exhausting. I send you good energy and love and wish you luck! Get some more sleep! ; )

An yoga is a God-send.

Indie said...

R, I forgot to add that it's cold and grey and drizzly here. So no help from the weather or nature just now. But I am beginning a new afghan tonight. I have never been so happy about the end of the week (today is my "Friday" tomorrow and Saturday my weekend). I read your blog; you have your hands full too. I wish we lived closer so we could give one another a hand!

Beachcomber, isn't it ridiculous? Right now I am mad at HSU about this! HSU and I are in a fight, but HSU will probably win. But OH and cookout on the beach sounds good. Something to look forward to.

Suzy, that is a great story. What a lovely person happened to help you that day! And your advice is excellent "be receptive."

Joe, I agree about sleeping pills, but I tried Ambien once and they creeped me out. I felt like they gave me amnesia. I don't know any other ones. I'll try to take time to see the doc.

Anonymous, you're so right! That is the thing that made many locals resist the environmental movement, I think. Jobs and survival come first when you're talking about families.

Steviewren, divorce, that's the key to all these overwhelming changes. By the way it's never too late to peck away at that degree one evening class at a time.

Joe Cornish said...

Indie, I take two sleeping medications. One is temazapam (30 mg cap) to put me to sleep. The other is clonazapam (1 mg tab) to keep me asleep. My doctor told me she knows of a better sleeping pill that I may switch to. I'll find out on the 23rd what that is. I'll let you know.

Kym said...

Indie, I'm late to your post here but I want you to know that those of us who read you know that you have a special grasp of writing and that skill will be showcased when you have that degree. Hang in there.
We believe in you.

(And anyone who has ever had to deal with HSU's parking hates it!)

Indie said...

Starlene, yes it is the in-between that is exhausting. I'm a doer, so once I've identified the priority and can see a course of action, I can do it. But competing exigencies have me running in circles. You're right: that is where the energy needs to be directed: mapping it out. Thanks!

Kym, thank you! I am sorry I missed your radio-star moment today. I didn't hear about it until it was a done deal. I hope it went smoothly!

Kato said...

Suzy: think that carpenter/saint would be willing to drive an HSU shuttle bus to McKinleyville and back?

Indie, you're making me leery of going back for my masters until I can afford to live in Arcata or be strong enough to bike commute from the hills. One more semester? Finish it out of spite, then all your fans will celebrate by forming a critical mass of car-free people to clog up the parking lots at HSU!

Indie said...

Kato, thank you for the encouragement and the big smile your comment gave me!

I am going to finish. I just have to try to keep anything else from adding to my load.

I just found out the department chair will waive the requirement for taking the tutoring class, thank heavens. (That was the straw that broke the camel's back). And I will be able to take the bus all next week. Hopefully, this will make it all doable.