76 trombones, etc.-- 04/24/13

My sleeping schedule is getting messed up by getting up too early in the morning. What that means is that I then find myself sleepy earlier than I would normally go to bed... so I might decide to read in bed for a while... and I fall asleep early... and then wake up "in the middle of the night" and have trouble getting back to sleep. Which makes me tired when I do get up at the early hour I need to get up... and then I will start to feel sleepy early in the evening.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I've also been working out a lot, especially at the YMCA (TRX, swimming, exercise bike, Nautilus circuit) and now we are entering garden season so Sunday I put in a couple hours of heavy duty digging, etc. That kind of activity can also lead to feeling tired. Last night (while Nancy was still studying) I got into bed with a book to do some reading. By quarter past nine I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, so I dropped the book, took off my glasses, and turned out my reading light.

Sound sleep....

Dreaming about playing the trombone in the high school band. Well, actually, not the high school marching and concert band. I was in the "second" band... you know, sort of like a "second string" athlete.

In real life this had started in junior high school, in 8th grade. One day they called groups of us out of study hall to go down to the music department where the band teacher talked to us about the great fun it was to be in the band and how there was room for a few select students. What instruments would we like to play?

Well, I knew the answer to that: I wanted to play drums. (Actually, I had always wanted to play drums but nobody had ever asked me before.)

Wrong answer. Apparently most guys wanted to play drums.

He looked at me and said that I looked to be strong and I looked like I also had strong lips, so obviously I would be a prime candidate for playing the trombone. Please note that another ten or eleven months would go by before The Music Man would open on Broadway, but this guy must have been a budding Harold Hill.

I really did not want to play the trombone but I dutifully brought home his request and (to my dismay) my parents thought it was a good idea. (In retrospect, I think they somehow thought it was something I wanted to do.)

So I spent the second semester of 8th grade making dreadful off-key noises with my trombone. I thought that going to high school would free me from the trombone but when school started that fall my schedule included band -- second band but nevertheless band. It wasn't until a month or two into my sophomore year that the high school band director told me that both the band and I would probably be better off if I swapped band for a study hall period. I think he may have been somewhat taken aback by my enthusiastic "Thank you!'

Anyway, in my dream I was a kid again, playing the trombone in the high school band. The band director (in my dream) was trying to get everyone enthusiastic about being in the band by having us learn to play some Beatles songs. He told us that if we got known for playing Beatles songs such as Hard Day's Night and if their US tour brought them through the Hudson Valley and they were going to play a local concert, they might want us to play as an opening act.

This is where my dream began to annoy me. I do sometimes have lucid dreams -- that is, dreams where I am aware that I am dreaming. One of the things that can move me into awareness of dreaming is attempting some intellectual activity such as reading or writing or doing math or using a different language. I have had numerous dreams where, for example, I am in France and I am struggling to speak in French and the process of doing so either wakes me up or makes me aware that I am dreaming and then I wake up.

In this case, I was bothered by the band director's pushing us to learn to play Beatles songs. I began to try to figure out dates, because the Beatles were still high school age themselves when I was in the school band. The only pop music I can recall the high school band covering when I was in it was The Stroll, a vintage 1957 song. I was halfway through my junior year of college when the Beatles made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan's television show. And the municipal stadium in our town couldn't seat two thousand people, let alone the huge crowds that would turn out for the Beatles. So, by the time I had assembled that line of reasoning, I not only knew I was dreaming, I was also aware that I was actually just lying in bed.

I squinted my eyes to attempt to see my alarm clock. The time was 1:11. Okay, four hours of pretty good deep sleep, but now I was wide awake....

Three and a half hours to go. I did get some more sleep -- and I also rehashed my band dream, thought about writing this entry, reminded myself about some mail I have to put out in the mailbox today, sketched out a scene for a novel I've been fooling around with, thought about running and training, etc. In between those various thoughts I must have dozed off from time to time, but not restful sleep.

4:45 my alarm went off but I was already awake, waiting for it to buzz.

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