and the darkest hour is just before dawn.

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please, there will be an equipment change on this morning's flight: instead of the peppy and useful Nikon Coolpix we've been smudging the LCD on for the last few weeks, we'll now be switching to the Olympus Thymus 1010, a camera so technologically backwards, functionally unintuitive and just generally difficult to take good pictures with that we've had not one but two of them donated to us by two different people. Fucking given to us, freely. Here, take it. You want any money for that, it must have been expensive? It was, but no, no please...just get it out of here. 

Hmm, maybe deciphering the interestingly-translated manual for it is something productive I can do late at night.....(cue segue music)....


Herewith begins a series that's a bit of a first in these pages: we are going to try and address in a relatively open and unfiltered way all of the major problems in VDuck life, because VDuck don't want to live like he been living anymore. He ready for Version 4 if there is one (if Version 1 was the arrogant and ironic incompetent introvert suburbanite dreamer aged 14-24; Version 2 was the suddenly acccidentally competent and mostly-responsible Internet superstar aged 24-34 who pretty much believed he could do anything; Version 3 was the overconfident, ignorant, and subsequently demolished, disillusioned, and anxiety-crippled fat old alcoholic insomniac, aged 34-44, worsening). 

How interesting this will be for the hypothetical reader is frankly unpredictable and ultimately of no consequence. Why share at all? Why not keep it to hissssself? 1) Cause hissssself is not a word and 2) Oft times the Duck has been cruising around the internets in need of solace and found someone's personal ramblings on dark nighttime subjects and it inexplicably soothes a bit that some other poor fucker is consumed with the same shit. And 3) blogging is the only way I know how to write creatively or with any precision anymore.

BIG PROBLEM #1: What to do in the middle of the night. 

There are definitely deeper psychological problems and anxiety-related suckholes that need addressing in detail very soon but on his first night back in the Pod, it became clear that the most unavoidable habitual, practical problem that Version 3 encounters on a daily basis has to do with late- or middle-night insomnia and anxiety. It was noticeable from the moment Mara put in her earplugs (which I should emphasize happened in bed, at bedtime, not like when I first walked in the door that morning, "Oh hey, Mara I'm home....Mara?") that suddenly there was no one to talk to except himself, and this is not a conversation that has led anywhere good in a really long time. 

So, a plan: Version 4 needs to first do all of the things that it knows help it sleep better: sunlight/exercise during the day, minimized computer time, proper dosage of helpful supplements at 9pm 9pm 9pm every night why the fuck do you refuse to do this? Because you think you don't like to go to sleep before Mara. But you also don't like it when Mara goes to sleep first and you're too awake. 

Essentially what you'd be trying to accomplish here would be maximum possible sleep; minimal accomplishmentless awake time. For example, let's look at the generally accepted practice of being up for another three hours after Mara goes to sleep, not really accomplishing anything except the fabled "winding down" from 11:30 to 2:30, something that you think you like and find relaxing but is in fact a big part of your problem.

Because during this time you're not actually "winding down", you're "filling your mind and distracting yourself until you can't stay awake anymore", then you wake up again at 5:30am when the cat starts meowing and again you're stuck 1) awake and wanting to kill the fucking cat and 2) not really being able to accomplish anything until you go back to sleep at 8:00am. 

So ideally you'd be asleep around midnight. If for some reason you couldn't go to sleep then you'd have something productive to do that wouldn't be invigorating or exciting (what could this possibly be). If you wake up at 3:30am, same deal. 15 minutes of trying to go back to sleep, then getting up and having something to do which relaxes you, is not porn or alcohol, and doesn't make a whole bunch of noise. Or can be done down the hall in the rather cold and charmless Studio B.

Further endless revision necessary and forthcoming. An addendum that needs addressing soon is "what is the optimal time to feed the cat in order to minimize overall meowing and thus prevent eventual cat murder, deboning, etc."


(ADDENDUM/UPDATE: updated research seems to suggest that biting the bullet with one and only one feeding between 5:30am and 6:30am may result in the most peaceful morning. And then just blasting the shit out of them with water pistols if they make the slightest sound after that. We seriously need drones. The ASPCA suggests two feedings a day, 6am and 6pm, I'd like to see us try that, talk about fomenting a rebellion. Maybe we could get away with 7am, 3pm, 11pm.)


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