I’m now reposing in Davis, California, a town familiar to me since I spent three years here as a postdoc. I didn’t like the isolation much (it’s smack in the middle of the hot and desolate Central Valley), but the University was great for genetics, and one could always make the one-hour drive to Berkeley on the weekends.
The town doesn’t seem to have changed much, though its been yonks since I’ve come here, and I’ll be here visiting friends until Thursday, when I head to Stanford for the much-demonized Academic Freedom Conference.
I’m resting now after a long flight (ca 4 hours), which, fortunately, did NOT begin with my being groped by TSA agents. I’m still suffering from insomnia but made up for lost sleep on the flight.
Just FYI, my doctor suggested a rather drastic solution to insomnia which seems to have some efficacy. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, run a VERY COLD bath and then sit in it for 15 minutes. The first night I did this, three nights ago, it worked like a charm: I went back to my warm bed, fell asleep instantly and slept through the night.
Two nights ago I tried to game the system, as I found a website that said that a five-minute cold shower was just as good as a longer bath. But it wasn’t, and I slept poorly. Last night I reverted to the cold bath but stayed in for about 20 minutes (believe me, it is PURE TORTURE). When I went back to bed I was shivering for a long time, even under a down comforter, and had trouble getting back to sleep. But I slept well.
Can you imagine having to do this every day? I hope this bout of insomnia will pass soon; I’ve had similar ones a few times before but they never hung on as long as this one. Not only that, but my doctor recommends that I not drink alcohol, either–not even a glass of wine with dinner. (Alcohol tends to make you sleep better, but wake up in the middle of the night. When I heard that, I told him, “Alex, first you ban my beloved wine, and now you torture me by ordering me to sitting in cold water in the wee hours. What’s next–are you gonna flay me?” Seriously, though, is life worth living when you can’t have wine and have to put your tuchas (and everything else) in frigid water at midnight?
But we all have crosses to bear, though mine is a Star of David.
I’ll gradually resume regular posting when I get time. There WILL be Hilis and Caturdays.
Oh, and I learned there is an In-N-Out Burger place in Davis! I will be going there soon to see what Anthony Bourdain was all excited about. But tonight we eat Thai.