Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #586 - Mornings and coffee

This was your breakfast one morning, Mom,
not long after coming home from Mary Free Bed.
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #586 - Mornings and coffee

Hi Mom,

Warren Ellis wrote about mornings in his newsletter that came out today, which had already arrived by around 10:10 our time because he's in England when it's 16:00 hours then.

I included Warren's description of his mornings below.

This description caused me to think about my mornings, and how the morning routine has changed with a SECOND DOG. Apparently, Warren has no dogs, which is a good thing, probably, as I am sure he would admit, he can barely take care of himself. Though he's obviously doing much better. I am not worried about teasing Warren here because the chance of him actually seeing these words is practically the same as shuffling a deck of cards the same exact way a second time (it's 52 factorial and that's a huge number), but if through some miracle Warren does see this, hey, I am just going on the kinds of things you write in your newsletter, mate, which I love, and so I write what I write with love.

Warren reports getting eight-nine hours of sleep a night. I strive for this goal, but I am lucky if I get a full eight. Last night (technically Saturday-Sunday even though I am writing this on Monday), I went to a show and did not turn out my light until 23:00 and then the dogs started waking me at 5:30, so you can count that right? Six and a half hours give or take. The next night -- which as I wrote is Sunday-Monday because I am actually writing this on Monday -- I crashed hard at about 21:00 and slept until about 5:38-ish. That's a much healthier eight-plus hours. Feels good.

I had wanted to sleep in this (Sunday) morning, but the dogs did not agree with that option.

I have taken to leaving my alarm off because I tend to wake between five and six automatically and often before five in the morning. I did have the alarm on yesterday as I had to get up and finish final grades, though. Surely, I will go back to alarm waking soon, but here's what happens without it.

Satchel has learned not to wake me most of the time. Some mornings she will come to me when she sees I am waking up but not before. Ellory is still learning that Dad is not very interested in cuddling or being chewed on before he is properly awake.

This morning (Sunday) they both were basically lying on top one another at the head of the bed, and they started alternately licking me (Ellory chews some but lightly) and snuggling. Ellory is usually the chief snuggler and was this morning, too. She has this snake thing she does on her back as she wiggles into a fully extended position with her belly exposed.

This morning they both snuggled near my face and licked me until I went from the groggy, half-sleep waking stage to being fully awake or at least ready to get out of the bed. I usually need to stretch a few times, but eventually I feel my bladder and need to get up. In the past, before Ellory, I could just go straight to the bath room and often sit in there in the dark until I have peed and pooped because often I am just that ready and regular. Sometimes I still do go straight in if I don't care if Ellory pees on a puppy pad because my bladder hurts. But lately, I have been prompting Ellory to go out and go potty to get her in the habit of doing so. Sometimes I have to pull her out of bed as she's so comfortable, but once out of bed I can get her out the door in time for to pee outside. If I can get her to come back in, she will return to bed or play on the floor with Satchel while I go to the bathroom.

Now, after this routine, and putting on my usual house clothes (shorts and a T-shirt), I would like to go straight to coffee and follow a routine much like Warren's in which I check morning things. Unlike Warren, I do no grab my phone. In fact, I leave the phone in the bedroom for a couple of hours before retrieving it and bringing it to my office.

But I can't do any of those things. I have to feed the animals. First, I check the thermostat. In the winter, this means turning up the heat. In the summer, this means possibly turning off the air. Mostly it means finding out the internal temperature of the homer (at least in that space) and making a decision on what to adjust. Next, I go to the kitchen and dump out the water from the bedroom. At this point, Satchel will give me a hug and some kisses. Now with Ellory, she may interfere with Satchel hugging me, which Satchel does not like. There's been a battle here about routine and ritual with the new puppy.

Next I check the outside temperature with the thermometer I maintain and then I am ready to feed the cat. Part of the cat feeding means the dogs get some of the cat's kibble, known as "cat treats." This was easy with Satchel. I would load a tray with the cat's dishes, which are kept in the breezeway on a high table out of the reach of the dogs, ready to bus them to the kitchen. I would give Satchel a handful of cat treats. Done. Now with Ellory, this routine is more complex. I can't just drop handfuls of treats to the floor because the dogs will fight over them. So Ellory gets hers in the other room in her crate. I shut the door to that room before giving Satchel her treats.

Once both dogs are treated, I can do the cat's food and truck it back to the breezeway before feeding the dogs. Satchel is fed first. Since Satchel is food obsessed, I am committed to getting her every scrap of food possible. This means she gets to lick the lid of the can of dog food and the spoon

Once Satchel is fed, Ellory has this cute thing she does in walking around a chair by the kitchen table before heading to the dining room to get her food in her crate.

Only after feeding both dogs can I assemble my morning pills and juice and get coffee and head to my office.

Often this feeding ritual can take up to 20 minutes or more depending on whether I have to clean up poop or pee or make an emergency bathroom stop. Also, on work days, I often bring Liesel coffee in bed before I get my own or even finish feeding dogs.

But I would say that my average time to coffee from waking up is approximately 30 minutes and sometimes longer.

This seems far too long, but I do all right. It's later in the morning that I start to fade and need a bigger caffeine boost. Like now...

Here's Warren's routine.

That's all for now. But, hey, some original content!!

From Warren Ellis' newsletter - ORBITAL OPERATIONS - episode "Indestructible Stars" - dated 1702.12 - http://createsend.com/t/d-7D6321CA75D41B9B
I read some of a book before sleep.  If I'm lucky, I got eight hours sleep. If I'm very lucky, I got closer to nine, because I'm not a genius and I need my sleep. I've gone to sleep while dealing with memory load and probably still processing an idea or a work problem. I don't look at a phone screen within an hour of sleeping, but the phone is next to the bed, on airplane mode, with all notifications killed and the sound off. 
I don't wake up gently. I stir a bit, and then the brain starts. I have no coordination and I'm practically blind but the brain has spun up. flying in all directions.  I pick up the phone to first skim the overnight headlines, email headers and the tops of DMs, iMessages and app messages, to make sure everyone's still alive and that there's no immediate emergencies.
The phone gets taken off airplane mode as I shamble downstairs, grab the notebook, grab a laptop if it's summer (because I sit outside with my coffee but if it's 8C or less I'm not typing out there), and set Downcast to grab the overnight podcasts. Everything is already moving, but, remember, I'm still blurry-eyed and I have the coordination of a drunken chimp. It is a struggle for the ages just to get my earbuds in without injuring myself. Only coffee will right me.
Can you imagine me using a grinder, a kettle and an Aeropress in this condition? Or an espresso machine?  Or anything?  No.
I have a Tassimo machine for mornings. I put a ristretto disc in the thing and press a button and it makes me a drinkable ristretto. That's all I've got, first thing in the morning. And without it, I would just be found dead in the hallway.  Those stories about people who own 12 copies of the same outfit so they don't have to waste braincycles on what to wear in the morning?  The Tassimo is my version of that. Machine give coffee.
(If you are one of those people disposed to bitching at me for using a Tassimo machine for any of several good reasons - fuck you, come here and make my coffee for me.)


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 588 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1702.12 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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