31 August, 2013

Party Like it's 1999 (if you were born in 1919)

Okay.  Much awaited IDEA #1: Party like a senior.  I am not talking about a 12th grade student.  Those young hooligans have way too much thirst for trouble and keep the most ridiculous hours... No, I am talking about the wise, experienced folks living in their golden years.  Specifically, I am talking about their sleeping schedule.  Assuming you buy into the stereotype that seniors fall asleep at 8 pm and awake to the first cock's crow.  For the purposes of this upcoming rant, let's say you do.

With the current curfew in Cairo (you must be in your home by 9:00 pm every day, except Friday when the curfew is 7:00 pm), this was a prime time to try out the "early to bed, early to rise" approach to scheduling.  Conclusion: awesome.

The premise is that absolutely nothing productive is accomplished after 9:00 pm.  Unless you are a supplier of snack foods, have advertising on facebook, or own a share in netflicks, you may come to agree that the witching hours of 9:00 pm to midnight are best used by the unconscious folks.  While the seniors and Shannon Lee are fast asleep, recharging their batteries for the full and productive coming day, the rest of the world is social media-izing, binge-watching a TV series, pouring themselves a drink or two, and grabbing a pudding cup.  Well, maybe that last one was just me... Side note: chocolate pudding cup; kept in the freezer; microwave 15 seconds; prepare to be addicted.

On the other side of the fence are the people who may have a social life and may spend some evenings out or in their homes entertaining.  That's fine!  That doesn't mean you can't try this experiment too!  Just come to Cairo while the curfew is still in place.  Can't make the trip out just yet?  Still fine!  Become a hermit.  Or, try and convince your buddies to get in on the experiment with you.

From recent experience, day time parties are great!  With your newly productive early mornings (more on that shortly), you can relax and enjoy a Saturday afternoon BBQ or even a daytime cocktail party.  Best bit: if you have a set curfew of 9:00 pm, even the stragglers hit the road in a timely manner.  That leaves you a few minutes to tidy up and STILL get to sleep before 10 pm.  You party animal you.

Don't have a curfew in your area?  No problem.  You can still get people out of your house early by sending your party invites out with a start AND end time, or tell them you are trying "this great new schedule thing", or have your mom Skype you at 8:50 pm with some fictional crisis that will quickly clear the room.

If you are attending someone else's function, you can arrive right at the start time rather than fashionably late, work the room, and then pull the pin at your self-prescribed curfew.  You'll eat and drink less, not waste any part of the following day in bed, and get to be entertained later on by the tales of those who stayed on "past their bedtimes".

Now about this "morning productivity" stuff.  It is a revelation!  I am telling you: as much as the 9:00 pm to midnight timeslot gets you nowhere, the 5:30 to 8:00 am shift gets you all kinds of good places.  Maybe you think you are not a morning person, but a week of going to bed at 9:00 pm may just convert you.

The secret for me to maximizing the morning is to just put one foot in front of the other.  I used to wake up by sitting on the couch and watching a show.  Why?  What am I resting up from?  I was just asleep all night!  No, I recommend standing.  This is foreshadowing to my next and equally riveting IDEA #2 blog post by the way.  Empty the dishwasher, take out the garbage, tidy up the living room, walk the dog.  The idea is to do something that doesn't involve thinking or talking but does get you moving.  Step 2: coffee.  A huge part of why I am excited to wake up every morning!  If you love something else, that's cool too.  But something that puts you in a good mood and makes you eager to start your day is just the ticket.

After coffee and a delicious breakfast, my brain starts ticking.  I am at my best to reply to work e-mails, make class plans, write down inane ideas that I will later blog-on about, you name it.  This is when things get DUN SON.  That leaves me feeling pretty darn good about myself and kind of fired up, which leads to the other key part of this experiment: exercise.  I have definitely read that getting in some exercise in the morning is the best thing.  According to such notable experts as ME, I would tend to agree.  With exercise done before heading out to face your day, there is less chance of something else coming up and derailing a workout and there is 100% chance of you strutting out the front door feeling like a million bucks.

Really, really try this people.  9:00 pm is the new midnight.  It is hip to be square and it is always okay to be awesome.  Now go get some sleep!

30 August, 2013

Breaking the Seal

Clearly the maintenance of this blog has been a much neglected pursuit.  The chick (Me) does continue to cross the road, and her life in Cairo goes on.  Despite the lack of written evidence, lots of stuff has happened.

The reason for breaking the crater-esk radio silence is not to talk about the coup/non-coup that we witnessed in Egypt, or even to blather about the ways the fallout has effected our privileged lives here.  Nor is it to document the awesome trips that my husband, Scott, and I have had in the last year... though once I get back into the flow of blogging, I do hope to include that stuff again too.

No.  I actually needed to "get my blog on"  because I have had more ideas lately than you can shake a stick at; or keep track of in the various scattered paper notebooks I jot in; or than I can possibly trap my poor fella into feigning an interest in.  One can only listen to so many sentences per day that start with "I have a theory that _" or "I think I just invented something where _" or "what people should try is _"... yeah, poor Scott.

So to you, my non-captive audience: be prepared to be dazzled, moderately amused, or perhaps just led to question what kind of air this girl is breathing anyway.

Stay tuned.