About Stewie

Not much to say. I work, I watch movies, I write reviews and I love to go to a kick ass coffee shop every Saturday and Sunday.

I know this is insanity.

The thing about OCD is, those that of us that legitimately have it know it’s much more than keeping your movies in alphabetical order or keeping your house clean. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those crybabies that pisses and moans over memes or statements by people about clean rooms and OCD. That shit is funny. But it’s nowhere near an accurate representation of that goes on in day-to-day life.

Here’s but a small example:

Over Christmas, I went on a weekend ski trip with my family. Well, we went to the ski resort (I didn’t plan on skiing, I knew I could get a lot of work done), but unfortunately there would be no tubing — pretty much the main reason my family went up. Because of this, and the shit weather (it was raining the majority of the weekend), we decided to go home Saturday night instead of Sunday because there was really no reason to stay and home was only about two hours away for all of us.

As I was getting into my car, a thought hit me. What if my sister got into a car accident on the way home? The roads were crappy after all. I would lose pretty much my whole family because my dad, niece, nephew, grandnephew, sister and brother-in-law were all in one car. Plus my mom had died the day after Christmas, so the timing meant something! Right? Right??? And that was in my head the entire ride home. I wasn’t happy until I got the call from my family that they were home. This is how OCD works. You get this ridiculous nugget in your head and it’s all you can think about. The rub? I know this thought is insane. I know there is zero reason why I should be…obsessing over this dumb thought. But I do. That’s the real OCD. Getting something locked in your head that just ridiculous, and it won’t go away. Don’t even get me started on when I start dwelling on things that happened 20 years ago that a normal person wouldn’t be bothered by. Or the amount of times I check the lights and stove before I leave the house.

This was going to be a post about my fucking mailwoman, but it went on longer than I thought. So that’s another story for another time, and that is OCD related too.

What’s unrelated is this cover of Bad Company’s Bad Company. Five Finger Death Punch did a phenomenal job with it.

I’ve just closed my eyes again.

Of all the electronic devices in my house used to watch media, my Roku is probably in the top 2. In addition to the standard ‘channels’ you can put on it like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, there are a plethora of other channels available. Channels like Comet, Pluto TV, Periscope, and more have found their way onto my Roku box.

On occasion, I go through my channels and delete the unwatched and expired ones and add new ones that I may or may not ever get around to using. I was doing this the other night when I came across one called “Lucid Dreaming”. I’ve had a half-assed interest in lucid dreaming since I first heard of it, but I never really did any research on it. The short of it is, if you practice, you can take control of your dreams.

The channel has a bunch of little chapters, about 2 minutes each, on what lucid dreaming is, the history of it, how it works, and how you can do it. I watched many of these chapters with some interest, and made the decision to do the tips. I tend to dream often, especially now that I’m getting more sleep with my CPAP machine, so I figured what the hell. And couple the CPAP machine with melatonin — a sleep aid that has the “side affect” of vivid dreams — and you have a party. One I like going to.

One of the things the channel suggests is to keep a dream journal, which I’ve started. I’ve already logged two dreams and I’m debating on making a page on this blog specifically for those dreams. However, the very fact that I’ve started a dream journal makes me feel like a pre-teen girl who is writing about her dream dates with Johnny.

I used to die every night.

About a year ago, I was suffering from severe sleep apnea. I’ve always snored, but it got to a point where I was just not sleeping. (Rather than go into it, you can read all about that here.)

I realize that I never posted the results of my sleep study, and they are pretty jacked. And since I’m sure you all have been waiting on pins and needles for them, here you go.

Generally with a sleep study, you are supposed to have spend the night two nights at the center doing the study. The first night the determine why you aren’t sleeping (apnea, shaky leg, whatever) and the second night they apply the fix and see if it works. They hook you up to kinds of electrodes and what not and you go to bed and someone watches you on a video to make sure everything is going smoothly. They encourage you to bring whatever you use to sleep (favorite pillow, pajamas, whatever) to make it as natural as possible. This makes sense, as they are putting all these wires and shit on you, it makes it difficult to move around naturally.

I don’t have anything ‘favorite’ I use to sleep, but I did bring my…sleep aids. Before I got hooked up, I took my medication that helps me sleep, put on my sweats, and got ready for what I thought would be another restless night. The woman who hooked me up was pretty awesome, and before long I was laying down.

At some point in the night, the lady was waking me up. I asked what was wrong and she said, “You need to put this on right now.” She looked extremely concerned, holding a mask in her hand. She helped me hook it over my face and a turned on the machine it was attached to, which forced air into my fat face. As I was thinking there was no way I could go to sleep like this, I slipped under and got the best night of sleep in recent memory. I mean, I was knocked the fuck out hard. Before I knew it, the woman was waking me up and I was rested. RESTED! I didn’t even know what that felt like anymore.

She asked how I slept. I told her I couldn’t remember sleeping so well. She said she didn’t doubt it. My apnea was bad. I had stopped breathing for 57 seconds. That’s why she woke me for the mask. I didn’t need a second night, they knew exactly what was wrong.

A few days later, I got my results. I’ll put it down as it was explained to me.

For someone to have sleep apnea, there must be at least a 10 second pause in breathing during sleep. 1 – 5 per hour is average. 30 an hour is severe. I was popping 108 an hour. One. Hundred. Eight.

The oxygen you are receiving should be at 90%. I went down to 50%. And the 57 seconds without breathing didn’t help.

Since then, I’ve been using a CPAP machine every night. I’ve changed masks a few times, from one that completely covers my nose and mouth to the one I wear now, which goes just under my nose. I use this sweet Bluetooth app that talks to my CPAP machine and gives me info on my breathing pauses and mask fit and such. I’m now down to maybe one or two breathing pauses (AHI) an hour now, rarely more than three. I’m sleeping through the night, and waking up more-or-less refreshed (this is my fault, though, I go to bed too late and don’t get the 8 hours I should be getting).

At the risk of being melodramatic, this study and machine has not only changed but possibly saved my life as well. I was literally falling asleep driving, waking up on the rumble strips. Since getting the machine, the only place I fall asleep is on the metro.

If you know someone who snores, encourage them to get a sleep study. They are simply not getting the rest they need, there’s no two ways about it. And if you use a Philips CPAP machine, I highly recommend the Dreamweaver app that goes along with them. You can monitor what’s going on while you sleep and make the necessary adjustments to sleep even better.

Here’s one of my favorite songs of all time:

Well that almost sucked.

After spending a great weekend with my family, I came home the night of Christmas, eager to do a whole bunch of nothing other than making a list of some things I want to knock out this week (something I want to try more of in the coming year, using lists to stay organized). But that entire plan fell to the wayside when I heard a loud buzzing sound when the heat kicked in that I at first thought was coming from my vent.

I slammed the vent cover around, thinking it was vibrating on something, but to no avail. So I went down to the basement and I immediately knew that it wasn’t coming from the vent, but the furnace itself. This immediately stressed me out for a variety of reasons. 1.) It was Christmas, so it was going to be a long night because I was not having someone come out on Christmas. I have an electric fan and an electric blanket; I’d survive. 2.) This furnace is 6 months old. I still owe thousands on it. What the fuck.

So flipped it on and off and it didn’t come back on. Fuck. But wait, it did kick back on about 15 minutes later, but it was still making that sound, so I just turned it off for the night.

I called the folks who I got the furnace from (who is a REALLY great company), and to my surprise, someone answered. I fully expected to leave a message. He said he’d send someone out between 10 and 12 the next day. I was cool with that.

Today I got a call at like 8:50, saying he’d be there by 9:10. No complaint there.

Dude shows up, heads downstairs, I turn the furnace back on, and leave him to his work. I don’t hover.

10 – 15 minutes later, the furnace kicked in, but no buzz. I walk downstairs and ask if he fixed it already, and he said no. Fuck. Oh, no, no fuck, because the noise kicked in. Good.

A few hours later, the tech (and shit if I forgot his name, but he’s a really nice guy — he either owns the company or is one of the managers) came back upstairs and said it was all fixed. I asked what happened and he said a bunch of words I didn’t understand (now I know what users think when I tell them how I fixed their computer) and said it’s all good now. I asked how much I owed, and he gave me the best possible answer, “Nothing. This is under warranty still.”

Merry Christmas to me!

Kind of related, but this HD version of Do They Know it’s Christmas looks great:

My job takes care of its employees.

Note, this was written back in June but never published.

I love a lot of things about my job, especially the travel aspect of it. Not only do I get to some pretty cool cities on occasion, the hotels we get put up in are generally 5-star.

This weekend I worked in DC for an event for our firm. Since I was doing a long shift on Saturday, followed by an early shift on Sunday, I was given the option to crash locally instead of driving home then coming back so soon. Fortunately for me, the hotel I was put up in, the Park Hyatt, upgraded me to a suite due to the fact that there was construction on one side of the building and they wanted to keep their guests happy.

Holy.

Shit.

This is in the top 5 hotels I’ve been in. It had a sizable living (?) room, nice bed, and a glorious bathroom. Not to mention the restaurant it uses for room service is a Michelin Rated one. I’m not sure what that means, but I understand it’s fancy.

God I love my job.