DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

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Exhausting dreams, toilet tissue tearing, a workout, and life-changing books...

~Sunday~  I had the most elaborate and exhausting dreams overnight—the kind I was so glad were just dreams once I woke up. I thought, "Thank goodness that wasn't real and I can just forget all of it."

Now that I've written that, I'm wondering if you can even have "exhausting dreams." I mean can exhausting dreams make you tired even if you've been sleeping for eight hours having them? I don't mean dreams that wake you up resulting in a fitful night, but I mean dreams in which you're actually sleeping, but you're doing so many things in the dreams that if you were doing them while you were awake, you'd be exhausted. That's a bit of a conundrum for me.

I had my leftover hummus on some crackers at lunch time, and for dinner, I had Robert's leftover paella—all from our dinner at Irregardless on Friday.

To the paella, I added some Italian herb turkey tenderloin for a little mixed Spanish-Italian thing going on, as Robert had eaten all of the mussels, chicken wings, and all but one piece of shrimp from the original dish.

I made myself go to the gym today, where I did only 200 ab crunches (10 sets of 20 reps) instead of the usual 300 (15 sets of 20 reps), and followed that up with 60 minutes on the elliptical machine on level three, burning off 875 calories. Who's counting?

While doing the cardio, I listened to the October 2, 2009 podcast of This American Life:

The Book That Changed Your Life

Stories of people who believe a book changed their life. It's a romantic notion, and one reason we believe it is because we want to believe our lives can be changed by something so simple as an idea—or a set of ideas contained in a book.


When Alexa was seven, she started going through her grandfather's books. Her grandfather was a playwright and teacher, and through the books — and especially through his notes in the margins — she entered the world of 1930's American theater. And she found a book that changed her life: writer Moss Hart's autobiography Act One. (5 minutes)

Act One. Act One.

More of Alexa Junge and how Moss Hart's autobiography changed her life. She followed his path, learned specific lessons, and had a vision of him that was absolutely clear—until she met his widow. (10 minutes)

Act Two. The Family That Reads Together.

The story of a book that changed a family's life, but only temporarily and not for the better. David Sedaris describes what happens when he finds a dirty book in the woods and shares it with his sisters. This story is published in Sedaris' book Naked. (9 minutes)

Act Three. Roger and Me, Lewis and Clark.

Reporter Jeremy Goldstein tells the story of a man who had many books change his life, even though he'd never read them. (14 minutes) Available: The Journals of Lewis and Clark, containing excerpts from the explorers' journals.

Act Four. Little Sod Houses for You and Me.

Writer Meghan Daum goes to DeSmet, South Dakota, where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and where many of the books she wrote in the Little House on the Prairie series are set. It turns out to be remarkably similar to what Meghan had pictured before she went: The people seem like they are genuinely trying to hold on to the values Laura Ingalls Wilder writes about in her books. (15 minutes) Two of the Little House books set in DeSmet are By the Shores of Silver Lake, and Little Town on the Prairie.

Song: "Prairie Lullaby," Jimmie Rodgers

Off hand, I can't recall reading a book that changed my life. I do recall, however, the first book that made me think of something I had never even considered possible before, and that was Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. It had never occurred to me that it could be possible to suffer more for a crime you committed by not being punished for it than you would by being punished for it.

And ever since that read, I am always struck when something like that happens again, as it did a few weeks ago when I was introduced to the notion that there are spoken sentences that can't be written. Love it when that happens.

I checked off a few items from my never-ending to-do list tonight:

  • Devised this blog entry.

  • Filled out a form to send to my doctor to fax to Medco to reduce the cost of my hypertension medication by 33% annually. That, alone, should lower my blood pressure.

  • Wrote out a thank-you card.

  • Spent about an hour on a work item—completing overdue minutes from a meeting that was held on Monday, October 19th.

  • Sent in an overdue STC Judging Identification form.

  • Responded to the "Toilet Tissue Survey," answering gross questions like, "How well did the paper do in terms of tearing through when wiping?" I mean, that's getting just a little too personal, although I suppose it's important in the domain of toilet paper quality.

  • Spurred on by yet another "book due soon" notice, read some more of Big Machine.
Tags: books, exercise, gym, health, podcasts, stc, work
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