Re: I Can’t Sleep

Oh, I remember Northern Exposure well! I don’t think it was ever big over here, it was always sent late at night and I’d get up after bedtime just to watch it. That and X-Files were my secret shows, the former because it was too late, and X-Files because I wasn’t really allowed to see it. Northern Exposure is the reason why I was always rooting for Aidan in Sex and the City. It is also where I first heard of Nine Inch Nails.

I always sleep better during winter. Summer can obviously be challenging out here since we have sunlight 24/7. But when winter comes and darkness sets in again, and when it’s like today, when there’s a storm howling around the house and I can sleep to the rain hammering against the window, then it’s all good. But I’ve often had problems sleeping.


I became hooked on melatonin too. For a long time I have pretty much not been able to sleep without it. But suddenly I realized that ever since I met B, I haven’t taken a single sleeping pill. I just sleep. I guess it’s because all is good. I’ve come to a place in life where there’s little to worry about, and when he’s there beside me, I seem to fall asleep right away. I close my eyes, and off I go. For being one who’s been struggling with sleeping problems off and on since childhood, I cannot begin to express how great this feels. No waking hours, no melatonin, just a good night’s sleep, and a happy face to wake up to.

But a good storm can do the trick as well.

– Agathe

Stormy photo from here.


I Can’t Sleep


Or maybe I should say “we don’t sleep”.

It first started happening when I was a child.  I couldn’t ever switch my brain off.  It was in permanent overdrive (except in math class).  I would stay up late thinking about all sorts of things children shouldn’t spend time worrying about (like nuclear war, living so close to Washington DC and all).  Later in life, I learned to sooth myself by reading books under the covers with a flashlight.  My parents still talk about that.  I would read until I felt my eyelids grow heavy.  I still do that to this day, no longer with a flashlight (coupled with a melatonin pill).  So you could say some good has come out of it.  My reading goal is 51 books this year.  I have a hunch I’ll surpass that.  Naturally as an angsty teenager, this habit only grew in high school.  I estimate that I averaged 4-5 hours of sleep a night when I was a teenager.  I really worried myself to death then.  Every day was such a daunting challenge of putting one foot in front of the other.  This was probably the first time in my life that depression crept in like a cloud.   I still believe I would have done better had school started at 8:30 instead of 7:20.  Now at thirty something, I can actually get up at that 7:00am if need be and be useful (like today).  Back then, there was zero point to me being anywhere before 9 am.

But it’s not just me.  My Dad too.  Our relationship blossomed when I was in high school.  I felt like I didn’t understand him much of my childhood and then suddenly, I did.   And much of it happened because often we’d sit up at 1:00 am watching re-runs of Northern Exposure (which had been cancelled).  You’re looking for a show to watch next time you’re sick?  That’s the one.

When this clip came up, it felt so utterly perfect.  The line about reading under the covers?  Pure coincidence.  The Enya song (which I listened to a lot of at that age), madness.

Unfortunately Avery has it too.  I remember a very frustrated new mother Aisha shaking her head close to tears whispering,

“She doesn’t sleep.”

I assured her it was just because she was a newborn but at three years old, it goes a little deeper than that.  Right now I average about seven hours most nights, but I have to force myself.  I usually can’t sleep more than eight.  Dad though?  I just don’t know.  I worry though because at his age, he needs more.  Part of it seems hereditary but most of it seems like neither of us can ever get comfortable enough with the state of the world to sleep soundly (and sometimes I wish to hell we could).  But once the world is illuminated to you in such a way, nothing can quiet the mind.

Tonight I wished him well as he was wandering off to bed.  I said,

“Please try and get some rest.”

“I will.  But it’s really tough.”

“I know.  I of all people know.”

–  Aja

(Gorgeous illustration by Leigh Viner).


Maiko Nagao

Trust  letsmoveletitgo

I recently realized that I had pinned pretty much every piece of work Maiko Nagao has available.  Her lighthearted aesthetic makes me feel buoyant and joyful.  Her work is literally like a pick-me-up in a cup.  So I went to check out her blog and what do you know?  More of the same!  She shares all sorts of wonderful DIY tutorials and even gives away downloads of her work for free.  I can tell, it’s going to be a favorite stop of mine this winter when I’m snowed in with nothing to do!  My reason for posting this is so that you would have something to do while you are healing.  The only way to combat cabin fever is to keep your hands busy with something or another.  I took out my knitting needles today and started to get all excited!

I hope you’re on the mend, this place isn’t the same without you!  I’m working tomorrow so I won’t be at my computer, but my phone will be on if you want to catch up.  We’ve been on a two month run of talking almost every day for multiple hours.  I’m a little amazed we haven’t gotten sick of each other and if you were sick of me, I’d TOTALLY understand 😀

–  Aja

(PS-  Darlings, you can follow me on pinterest here but be warned, if you’re like me and you get easily sucked into things, you might want to avoid it.  I can spend hours on there!)


Re: The Love Boat


(Happy sigh).  A guy I recently dated enjoyed pointing out my odd little quirks and bringing them up later in a slightly teasing manner.  He got really good at this quickly.  It didn’t bother me immediately but it probably would have annoyed me later down the line.  I certainly didn’t pick on him for his oddities!  One of these quirks was that he mentioned that I “love a good story”.  This was after I was telling him about a funny coincidence in my life.  I really couldn’t tell if he were being complimentary or attempting to shame me.  (“Attempt” is the key word, as you’ve pointed out, sometimes I am a little shameless).  But I do love a good story!  Most people do and if they don’t I feel sorry for them.  It’s another one of those things that makes this life bearable.

I think you and I are constantly peering at life through this little telescope and when we find a very good coincidence, we marvel at it, much like a shooting star.  We also record these findings in our notebooks or rush off to tell each other.  The image above is the shooting star Mira, who is only a couple of light years away.  Practically our neighbor!  The image comes from this Science Blogs where you can learn everything you ever needed to know about shooting stars!

–  Aja

PS –  I’m glad this one has the I.M seal of approval.  She approved of the last one but I thought she was a little off the mark.  All of this is of course me judging from 5,000 miles away so I suppose she does have a slight advantage.


The Love Boat

I’ve been sick in bed the past few days, and talking about sweating Aja, I’ve been changing t-shirts six times every night. No fun! Right now I am feeling slightly better so I’m hoping I’m past the worst.

I got a phone call from I.M. yesterday. She’s a really good friend of mine and is also my son’s godmother. She’s a musician and is often around touring and she lived a couple of years in the States, so we don’t really get to hang out that much. She had been here to visit a few weeks ago but we hadn’t talked since then, so when she called she knew nothing about B.

I of course told her about the new man in my life and how happy I was. She wanted to know his name to look him up on Facebook and immediately recognized the guy. “Oh, him!” she bursted out, like it was no news at all. Thing is, the same day she left the island, B had arrived with the same boat. So the split second that he had come off the boat, and she had boarded it, she had noticed him. With his tattoos and his pink jeans, and she had thought to herself: “This is the man for Agathe! This is who she should be with. The man’s an artist!” And she had thought of the boat as The Love Boat and she had heard The Love Boat theme in her head and she knew that a new chapter in my life was about to begin.


This was so freaky, because at the time, I didn’t even know B. I mean, I had seen him around a lot because he’s clearly noticeable, but I hadn’t ever even said hi to the guy, and he had never noticed me. I’d usually see him at the shop, but it was like I was invisible to him, and I hadn’t looked at him that way anyway. It was only a few days later that I got to meet him for the first time. And I.M. was right. He is the man for me.

It is so funny sometimes how people that know you well can know you better than you know yourself. Sometimes B and I wonder why we never met before seeing that he has been working out here for a couple of years already and seeing that we are only about four hundred people on the island. I guess sometimes it’s all about timing. And now the timing was right.

As I went to the shop today to pick up my mail, I bumped into B and we went there together. Out of all the times I’d seen him there before, he’d never even glanced at me, and when he drove me home he said: “Well, I noticed you today!”

I.M. had just figured it out before either one of us.

– Agathe


More Notes On Doing Whatever You Please

TWBstudioMeStretchingRecently on our last sailing trip down the Potomac one of my ship mates asked me why I danced ballet anyway.  I had been explaining to another mate that I can tell my knees hate me just a little bit (especially the left one, my stronger leg).  But his question caught me off guard.  As I find myself winding down from the ballet routine (four days a week became two this year) there’s no way I would quit cold turkey.  But, I didn’t really enjoy having my favorite activity questioned by an outsider who had never danced and could not possibly understand the stupid love affair.

My answer simple and said with enough force to stop the conversation dead in it’s tracks “… because I love it.”

But really, why do anything in life?  Everything you do puts wear and tear on your body and you know what ruins you in the worst sort of way?  Being stagnant.  Isn’t life a terminal disease in the fact that no one gets out alive?  You may as well have as much fun as possible while you’re here.

MePostClassAnd why on earth would I want to miss out on all of this?  (I included this photo to show how much I sweat.  I am the sweatiest girl in the class.  I take pride in that title.  Ain’t nobody as sweaty as me.)


POP QUIZ: Which toe do I clearly tend to drag?

–  Aja