20 July 2009

The Wake-Up Bomb

Heard this tune on my commute the other day, with my iPod set to Shuffle. New Adventures in Hi-Fi remains (for me) the highlight of the R.E.M. catalogue. I know purists prefer the earlier records (which were, incidentally, actually records), but this is definitely my favorite.

And the reason I use it here is that the wife and I had an old, familiar experience the other night. The 4 am wake-up call. Or rather, cry. Now, since birth our son has not been the greatest sleeper. Wait. That's an understatement. He is, in fact, a terrible sleeper. He takes after his mother in that regard, who even under optimal conditions, routinely has trouble falling asleep. While I, meanwhile, could fall asleep sitting upright against a cement block.

From the start, we would read all these statistics about how babies are supposed to sleep 10-12 hours every night, and 2-3 hours every day. Who the hell are these babies? And where do we get one exactly?

Okay, so we're not prepared to trade him in. Not yet. Still, he resists napping. At all costs. It's like he doesn't want to miss anything. We've tried explaining to him that he really won't miss out on anything. I mean, it's not as though he does a whole lot when he's actually awake. But apparently, there is no reasoning with a baby.

It's only been within the last few months (and again, he's going on a year) that we have reached anything resembling normalcy when it comes to a sleeping schedule. Maybe it's our fault. We did wish for a quiet, bookish lad and instead we got some kind of speed freak, a non-sleeping, loudly-screaming, interested-in-everything, curious-as-hell kid. So perhaps it is our fault.

Anyway, back to that 4 am wake-up incident. It immediately took me back to the early months of his life, when he would routinely do that. All. Night. Long. Just like Lionel Richie. And I remember during those middle-of-the-night sessions, pacing endlessly, rocking and shushing him, bleary-eyed, delirious, agitated, and at my wit's end, I would always, without fail, think about the movie PCU. Most people haven't heard of it, let alone seen it, but it is pretty much a Comedy Central stalwart at this point--in fact, it might even be playing right now. Anyway, it stars a bunch of actors who look far too old to play college students, well, playing college students. It stars Jeremy Piven and there's a flashback to his freshman year, when he roomed with conservative uber-nerd David Spade. When Piven brings a girl back to their room to hook up, he can't, because Spade is trying to sleep. And Piven goes crazy, jumping on the bed, screaming, "Go to sleep! Go to sleep!" The moment where Spade is doused (in slo-mo) with whiskey, while writhing and whining through his braces and headgear--well, it really doesn't get much funnier.

Maybe you had to be there.

Okay, so this entire thing was a ruse, a means to mention Jeremy Piven and therefore discuss the current season of Entourage. I apologize. I dig it. And I know that everybody talks about how brilliant Piven is, but Kevin Dillon (justly recognized with another Emmy nomination this week) is consistently amazing, if for nothing else than the mere fact that he's managed to make Johnny Drama more than a caricature and closer to something resembling sympathetic.

I have just one complaint. 10:30 time slot? Doesn't HBO realize I have a baby who doesn't like to sleep? 11 pm is very late for me these days.

Pathetic. When did I get so old?


  1. Who are the people who don't know "PCU"? That movie is classic. And though I don't watch Entourage I do love Kevin Dillon.
    Oh, and the new puppy's keeping us up, too, so I finally can (kinda) identify.

  2. Not only have I heard of PCU, but my brother actually served briefly on this film as an assistant to the director, the legendary Hart Bochner, whose beard Hoey stole in 1989.

  3. I'll do you one better, Jason O. Myself, Hoey and Yoni actually DIRECTED Hart Bochner (the director of PCU) in our short film back in '02. And at that point Hart was beardless and hoey was childless.