Seabiscuit: Excellent Sleeper

For some reason, I get extraordinary joy when I learn about creatures that like sleep as much as I do.  I really really like sleep.  So imagine my extreme happiness when I read this excerpt from Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (page 38 in my edition, with introduction before this about how the average horse sleeps in teeny tiny snippets, mostly standing up):

Seabiscuit was the exception.  He could keel over and snooze for hours on end.  His inability to straighten his knees all the way may have been the culprit, preventing him from locking his forelegs in the upright position.  Fortunately, he suffered no negative consequences.  While every other horse at the track raised hell demanding breakfast, he slept long and late, stretching out over the floor of his stall in such deep sedation that the grooms had to use every means in their power just to get him to stand up.  He was so quiet that Fitzsimmons’s assistant trainers once forgot all about him and left him in a van for an entire afternoon in brutal heat while they went for a beer.  They found him there hours later, pitched over on his side, blissfully asleep.  No one had ever seen a horse so relaxed.  Fitzsimmons would remember him as “a big dog,” the most easygoing horse he ever trained.  The only thing Seabiscuit took seriously, aside from his beauty rest, was eating, which he did constantly, with great vigor.

To which I say, good job, Seabiscuit!  And happy weekend snoozing to all.

photo from

photo from

Is it bedtime yet?

Okay, I was ready to gloat.  I only got four hours of sleep last night, and I was feeling fine.  In fact, I was 48 minutes early for work this morning and arrived with a delicious cup of peach iced tea in hand.  All in all, I was pretty impressed with myself.

Then I went to lunch (cue dark, dramatic music).  It was warm and cozy during lunch, and the magic combo of bacon and bread got all mixed up in that coziness, and now I’m a goner.  So much for being young and resilient.  I hope I catch a second wind soon.  I promise not to be smug this time.

Crossing Guard Action

art by George Hughes, cover from Saturday Evening Post

Today is the first day of school for lots of kids in the area.  I forgot until this morning that that also means something for me.  It means that my friendly, neighborhood crossing guards are back.

There are two crossing guards on my way to work–one near my house and one a few blocks from the library.  They wouldn’t be a big part of my life if I tended to leave earlier for work, but I don’t and they are.

The crossing guard by the library is particularly memorable.  She has a neon vest, hat, gloves (complete with mini-stop signs on the palm), a different color neon belt, and shiny reflector shoes.  When it’s rainy or cold, she has neon gear for the appropriate weather, too.

The amazing amount of gear is actually only a small part of what makes this guard memorable.  The real craziness is that she’s posted at a spot where I’ve only ever seen one child (or person of any age) crossing the road.  She thinks she’s in charge of traffic regardless of whether children are crossing the street, and she often gives conflicting messages.  She’ll tell you to go and then angrily gesticulate at you when you do.  Or she’ll make you stop when there aren’t any other cars in the area.  Or, and this takes the prize, she’ll tell you to go when a child is in the cross walk.  That one didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to a co-worker.  Now my morning commute will require an extra deep breath or two, that’s for sure.

While I’m practicing my deep breathing, I’ll also be ignoring the fact that I’m an empty nester.  You watch them grow up (for an entire month and a half), and then they leave you.  Sigh.  I’ve been officially sans-roommate for 44 hours.  I’m very much looking forward to eating straight out of the giant yogurt container again and leaving laundry in the dryer for weeks, and my body is grateful for the extra sleep that might happen now that wedding planning isn’t part of my life.  None of that is really a substitute for having a good friend around though.

Maybe I’ll invite the crossing guard over.  We can become friends, and then I can gently suggest that she take a refresher course in crossing guard duties.  Or I could make her stay up so late talking that she’ll be too tired to work zealously the next day.  See, there are plenty of options if you’re resourceful.