Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why I Will Never be a Morning Person

So, the Ball & Chain sent me this link to a CNN piece about being a morning person. Do you think he was trying to make a point? We've been married for over 24 years; it's a bit late, mate.

I read it with little some interest, and of course, had an answer for each one of the points. I'll deal with the first batch today -

The piece begins by saying that only about 1 in 10 people are truly morning people. Oh good, that makes me feel a bit better. I have to get up at 7 most days, and even though I'm usually in bed by 10.30 or 11pm, I swear I wake up knackered every morning. It has been suggested before (by a few doctors) that I might have very mild sleep apnea, and indeed I do seem to inhale myself awake during the night. Not snoring, but just a large intake of breath that wakes me up. That and the fact that I have the hearing ability of a bat, makes for some very sleepless nights.

Anyway, some of the points weren't at all helpful to me.

Plan ahead - what like make sure you're getting enough sleep? Well, as I said, in theory, I am. Next.

Maintain good sleep hygiene - At first I thought that meant make sure your nightie's nice and clean, but what it means is be consistent with your bed times. Check. You can't get more consistent than being the owner of a dog who takes herself to her bed at 10.30 every night.

Take your time - what, you mean walk up the stairs slowly? Actually this means make sure you have good work/life balance. Hmmm - for parents of young kids, this might be a bit of a stretch if you're helping with homework till god knows when and then you spend the next few hours picking up toys etc., making lunches, doing the laundry etc. Sometimes it's out of your control. With me it's an 11 year old whose new bedtime is 9pm, and believe me it's full on till then. Once he's gone to bed I start with the admin stuff. No surprise that I rarely watch TV shows.

Implement a routine - since I rarely go out on a school night, there's definitely a routine here. Some might call it a rut, but it's definitely consistent.

Nap cautiously - What I would give for the chance to nap in the middle of the day. No - this one's not a problem.

Eat and drink smart - apart from the dodgy grammar, they say don't go to bed too full or too hungry, and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Oh....

Power down - the light from computers, I-pads etc is known to keep your brain firing on all cylinders for at least half an hour after you switch them off, but that's not a problem for me since there's usually huge piles of stuff to clear up before I head upstairs.

Prep before bed - lunches, backpacks, work stuff. Yes, yes, and yes. We morning haters would rather stay up into the night than have to get up any earlier to do it. I draw the line at making the sandwiches at night, (who wants soggy sarnies?) but I make sure I have what I need for them so there are no panics next day.

Get cozy - have your bed cool and quiet, with a good mattress if possible. Well, living where I do I don't have much control over the decibel issues, although I have been known to insert a pair of wax ear plugs on occasion. And yes, I'm not one for lacy night wear (is that TMI) so I'm always cozy in my PJs.

Any other suggestions?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Piers Morgan - Still Telling Americans What to Do

So, to recap - after three years of the evening talk show, CNN axed “Piers Morgan Live”. He is currently to be heard, blaming Anderson Cooper's "poor lead in" for his failure, rather than his own paltry viewing numbers, but I have a feeling Piers never likes to acknowledge his own inadequacies. Americans yelled “Don’t let the door hit you in the bee-hind." and hoped to see the last of him. Unfortunately, now he's back at that bastion of truth and good grammar, the Daily Mail, as their Editor-at-large-who-specializes-in-all-things-American. (Not).

What with the petition to have him deported last year, and now this, old Piers hasn’t done much for the reputation of Brits in America, and here’s why –

Uses too many British idioms – OK, we all do it from time to time - saying “loo” when we’re being cute and “fortnight” when not concentrating. Point is, we’re not TV journalists interviewing mainly Americans and trying to appeal to an American audience. People have a remote, and they use it when they can’t understand what the berk on the box is rabbiting on about, innit.

Talks too fast – Unlike Simon Cowell, who probably rubs just as many people up the wrong way, Piers often sounds like one of those radio commercial announcers racing through the caveats in under ten seconds. At least when Cowell calls someone “appalling” you can hear every syllable, although Americans may be confused by the “k” on the end of “anything”.

Doesn’t annunciate properly – Morgan talks with the front of his mouth, lips pursed, without moving his jaw at all. Couple that with the aforementioned speed, and most Americans miss fifty per cent of what he says. Again, when Gordon Ramsey is insulting people and shouty-swearing at them, you can actually make out what he’s saying.

Has a weird name – Most Americans think he’s called Pierce, as in Pierce Brosnan. Very few of them ever pronounce it Peerz, as it should be. While Americans seem blissfully ignorant of this grating error, it’s probably lost the show seventy five percent of the Brit audience, and I’m pretty sure it’s on one of those “How to Really, Really Annoy a Brit” lists.

Is incredibly arrogant, and not in a good way – Simon Cowell also thinks a lot of himself, but he can take it when people make fun of him too; this was all part of his persona on American Idol and it brought audiences in for years. And he’s good at his job; he knows the music business and he gets respect for that. “Thunderously self-absorbed” is how the New Republic hilariously describes Morgan. Americans may not be shy about blowing their own trumpets, but not Piers Morgan style.

Gets into daily spats on Twitter – if you want to be taken seriously in your serious job, you don’t pick slappy-fights on Twitter. From Jeremy Clarkson to Charlotte Church, Morgan has fought publicly with them all. On February 5, he even insulted people on the same side of his argument – “As for all the enraged transgender supporters, look at how STUPID you’re being. I’m on your side, you dimwits”. No wonder he made number 25 on the “100 Worst People on Twitter”.

Tells Americans how to run their country – it doesn’t take Brits long to twig that Americans don’t like foreigners pointing out the negative aspects of this country. Whatever your views, there is a right and a wrong way to voice them.  Interrupting and insulting invited pro-gun guests with “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?” (oh yes, he did) does not win friends and influence people. It loses you your job. Even the Morgan himself admitted that “banging on” about gun control was the nail in the proverbial.

If only he’d listened to me last year when I told him to “Put a sock in it”, he might still have a job!

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