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:

At least there was Hysteria.

This past Tuesday, three Blu-rays came out that I had to have; fortunately their MSRP was set at a very reasonable price. So reasonable, in fact, that FYE of all places had them going for $9.99 a piece…cheaper than Amazon, even!

Word on the interwebs was that FYE busted street date on at least on of these films, so on Sunday I drove to the closest one to see what’s what. While they didn’t have the the one I had read about (I’ll get to it, dammit!), they did have another of the three: Cat’s Eye. I immediately purchased it, along with Twilight Zone: The Movie (which was a goddamn STEAL at $5. This damn thing is going for $40 for some ungodly reason.).

I wasn’t upset I struck out on the other two, it was Sunday after all.

On Tuesday night, I headed back to FYE after work to get the remaining Blu-rays. Unfortunately, they only had one, Stephen King’s IT. They had already sold out of the copy of Salem’s Lot. The. Copy. Let’s see, a classic TV mini-series based on a Stephen King novel hits Blu-ray for the first time a month before Hallofuckingween, and you get…one copy. WAY TO PLAN AHEAD, JERKS.

That’s okay, I didn’t sweat it too much. There are other FYEs around. I would hit them up this weekend, and that’s what I did today. The first one I went to, the employee was pretty damn helpful, checking the back and a few different places on the floor because he knew it had come in, but they must have sold it. Jesus, another store that only had one copy. Okay…fine. I had one more shot. I drove up to the final FYE near me. I looked around the store, couldn’t find it, asked the employee, to which he said, “Oh, sorry, I sold my only copy yesterday.” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? ONE COPY? Goddammit.

As I was heading out, a stack of CDs caught my eye, with the sign shouting $10 and under!!! Normally I would have kept going because who even buys CDs still, but one caught my eye: Def Leppard’s Hysteria. For $5. Since Spotify doesn’t stream Def Leppard and Hysteria is one of my top three albums of all time, I went ahead and bought it. One, to keep in my car, because I can listen to that ANY TIME, and also to not make the entire trip a bust.

Honestly, though, I don’t understand how FYE stays in business at this point. Their prices are either rape high or losing-a-profit low, with no in between. Plus the way they organize their movies is dog shit. It’s all very haphazard. The employees are friendly, though. At least the three I went to, they seemed genuinely eager to help. But the crap selection and sky high prices are unforgivable.

I also went to Best Buy and Barnes & Noble today. That rant is coming tomorrow. Or rather today since it’s 1:30 in the morning.

Might be something, might be nothing. Probably something. Or nothing.

I’m not the type to believe in ghosts. I mean, I do believe in ghosts, but I think that 99.99% of sightings or whatever can be explained away scientifically. It’s that .01% that makes you go hmmmmm. Like that time I was traversing near a graveyard.

Many moons ago, like at least 20 years, I was dating this girl who had a friend that lived near an old ass cemetery. Apparently, this was one of those family-type deals, so it wasn’t very big, but it had graves going back to the Civil War. Rumor had it, there were some slaves buried on that land too, but unmarked of course.

So, naturally, me, my lady-at-the-time, her friend and her friend’s boyfriend decided to go check out this graveyard in the middle of the night. Because that’s what you do. Of course we only brought one flashlight (because that’s what you do) and soon after arriving at the cemetery, I gave that up to my girlfriend. Off her and her friend went, exploring and reading the headstones, while Chris (I don’t know if that was his name, but for simplicity’s sake, it is now) and I hung back and chatted and smoked.

Eventually we realized we no longer heard the girls, so we walked out onto the street and saw that they were about 1/2 mile off, already heading home. We shook our heads and started after them.

Now, before I get into this next part, I want to elaborate on two things. First, we weren’t…scared I guess. The thought of any ghosts or anything like that never crossed our mind. We had spent most of the time bullshitting about movies and such, so we weren’t even creeped out about anything. Second, it’s important to describe the layout. Basically, you had woods, cemetery, small strip of woods, then the road that runs parallel. Below is a half-ass diagram of the layout.


MAIN HIGHWAY


LOTS OF WOODS BUT NOT ENOUGH SO YOU CAN’T HERE THE MAIN HIGHWAY


CEMETERY

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________    ENTRANCE         _________

SMALL STRIP OF WOODS (MAYBE 10′) BETWEEN ROAD AND CEMETERY

______________________________________________________________________________________________________   ENTRANCE         _________

LITTLE RESIDENTIAL ROAD MY GF’S FRIEND LIVED ON

<— we were headed thataway

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So Chris and I exited where that entrance is. So we had maybe 1/4 of a mile or so to walk until we were passed the cemetery. That strip of woods between the residential road and the cemetery might have been about 10 feet wide, but it wasn’t dense, you could kind of see the graveyard from the road through those “woods”, even at night. But, again, we weren’t scared, freaked out, or creeped out. We were just heading back to the house like it was normal.

Almost immediately after we got on the residential road and started walking back to the house, I heard the crunch, crunch, crunch of someone or something (don don donnnnnnnnnnn) pacing us in that strip of woods on our right. I stopped, and Chris stopped with me. “You hear that too?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

We both peered into the woods, but saw nothing. Just the graveyard through the brush.

We started walking again.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

We stopped again. Looked at each other, looked at the woods. Saw nothing. Not even an animal.

Walk. Walk. Walk.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Stop. Look. Nothing.

By about the third time we stopped, I’m not even going to lie, I was nervous. I’m the first to admit, it could have been an animal. But we couldn’t see anythign. It definitely wasn’t our girlfriends. We could see them at the end of the street where the light was (NATURALLY). And if it was a person, we definitely would have seen them. The woods weren’t dense.

Walk. Walk. Walk.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

This time we stopped and didn’t look in the woods. We looked at each other and knew what we had to do. RUN!

We ran, the thing (or whatver) crunching along at the same pace as us, stopping when it reached the end of the cemetery line.

We got back to the girls, out of breath and shakey. They asked why we ran, and again we looked at each other. “No reason,” I said. “Just wanted to catch up with you guys,” Chris offered. The girls looked at us weird but left it at that.

Chris and I never talked about it, and I lost track of him after my girlfriend and I broke up.

I don’t know what was pacing us in the woods that night. I know it wasn’t the wind because there wasn’t any. I’m confident it wasn’t a (live) person because we would have definitely seen them, even withot the flashlight. If it were a (small) animal, maybe I’d buy it. But if it were something else…I don’t know. I’d probably believe it. No matter what, though, it was creepy as hell.