Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, September 4, 2022, or: Sleepless in Seattle? No, More Like Restless in the Sunshine State….

Photo by Nathan Rostampour on

“O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frightened thee. That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness?” William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Oh, no. Not again.

Not another seemingly endless, sleepless, and exhausting night in Lithia, Florida where insomnia apparently is the master of my early autumn nights.

And, yet, Dear Reader, I must report that, yes, for the second night in a row, I stayed up late – this time it was a bit past four in the morning when I finally went to my futon and got about five hours’ worth of sleep.

“I knew this feeling, the 2 a.m. loneliness that I’d practically invented.” Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby

Photo by cottonbro on

The last time I experienced an extended period of sleepless nights was in mid-July of 2015, starting on the night of July 17/18 (the eve of my mother’s death) and ending on July 20th (the day after Mom died and the night of her open casket viewing at the Caballero Rivero Westchester funeral home in Miami). Back then, I was so exhausted that I took one of Mom’s remaining doses of Xanax so I could get at least one night’s rest.  

“Sleep comes more easily than it returns.”Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

I had hoped that my Saturday night would be different from the night before, so I planned on taking a break from Regiments – and gaming in general – thinking that since yesterday was the birthday of the Caregiver’s oldest son – the young man you have come to know as Gamer Boy – we would at least have a short and sweet family gathering (with cake and hors d’oeuvres, and maybe with the Caregiver’s new beau in attendance), which is what we’ve sometimes done.[1]

Like some wines our love could neither mature nor travel.” Graham Greene, The Comedians

But no. There was no family gathering for my twenty-something housemate’s birthday; his mother left the house shortly after I woke up yesterday morning – I only got to exchange a hurried greeting with my ex-girlfriend as she headed to the front door and went to her SUV – and his two half-siblings both worked yesterday, so the only living soul who spent time with me for most of the day was Sandy, our miniature schnauzer.

Boredom. Anxiety. Loneliness. The Dark Side are they, as Star Wars’ Master Yoda might say.

I had planned an entirely different agenda for my Saturday night – no more gaming after 7 PM; watching a movie out in the family room rather than staying cooped up in my room,[2] and going to bed no later than midnight.

This is one of the few movies I don’t watch out in the Florida room here…..(C) 2022 Kino Lorber/Code Red Maid in Sweden (C) 1971 Cannon Films

That, Dear Reader, was my intention.

The reality, though, is another matter altogether.

This is the first time I’ve seen simulated corpses in Regiments. This was taken during one of the Tutorials I played last night as I succumbed to the urge to play the game despite my self-imposed “hiatus.” (Game elements are (C) 2022 Bird’s Eye Games and MicroProse)

The “no Regiments” self-imposed one-night moratorium? That was the first thing that I changed my stance, although I resisted the urge to play until after 10 PM, partly because I couldn’t decide which movie I wanted to watch after dinner, mostly because I was thinking about re-reading Tom Clancy’s Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment so I can review it here in the near future.

(C) 1994 Berkley Books and Jack Ryan Enterprises
A bonus shot of my best friend in Lithia.
Hey, at least I won a Total Victory in Regiments again.

And that, Dear Reader, proved to be my undoing. Not only did I feel compelled to take my copy of the book – which I’ve owned since Berkley Books published it in 1994 – down from my IKEA Billy bookshelf, but I then started thinking about new ways to fight the Battle of Grasleben in Regiments, and sure enough, despite my original plan to take a break from playing the game, there I was, at my computer desk, issuing orders to digital representations of tank and mech infantry platoons, calling in air strikes, and capturing Soviet-held Objective Zones in a version of 1989 that never happened.

“Play stupid games, win stupid prizes,” as common wisdom goes.

Well, I wouldn’t call Regiments a stupid game, and winning another Total Victory gave me a temporary rush and a sense of accomplishment.

“People never forget two things, their first love and the money they wasted watching a bad movie.”  ― Amit Kalantri

This screengrab from my “Collection” page shows only a portion of the movies I own on Blu-ray.

Still, I might have had a better Saturday night had I been able to stick to my original plan. A movie is a more passive pastime than playing a game – military-themed or otherwise – and I do relax more when I lose myself in a story told by someone else. It doesn’t matter if I’m watching Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Pink Panther, Valkyrie, Casablanca, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, or Schindler’s List, but I usually feel less tense and more content when I’m watching a movie.

The trick is, though, being in a mindset where I know what movie I want to watch, and I think that sometimes my mind is…I don’t want to say troubled, but I think that’s the best word to describe my emotional state…and I can’t make up my mind about which of over 500 Blu-ray titles I own to watch.

So, yeah. The Dark Side of the Force, as it were, sent its ripples of disturbed emotions and affected my decision-making.

The result? Now I’m tired, more than a bit cranky, and need rest, recreation, and relaxation.

And, of course, I’m hoping that I can get a good night’s sleep tonight. I surely need it!

[1] When I first moved in here back in April of 2016, Gamer Boy was living with his girlfriend in an apartment in nearby Brandon. We celebrated his birthday at a restaurant – I think it was called Ford’s Garage – that time. When the girlfriend left Gamer Boy and he could not afford to live in the apartment on his own (they apparently shared the expenses), he moved back here, which prompted a most unwelcome shuffling of rooms, since the Caregiver’s youngest, who was still in high school, had to give up her bedroom because this room (my present bedroom/study/mancave) was too small for Gamer Boy. His half-sister needs a big-enough space for a bed, student desk, shelves, and a dresser, and the most appropriate room for her was the room that the Caregiver set aside for me when I first arrived in ’16. And because I slept with my then-girlfriend in the master bedroom, giving up my original mancave/writing room was no big deal for me.

But I digress. Since Gamer Boy moved back in, we’ve only celebrated his birthday a few times as a “family group.” Not because no one cares, but mostly because his two half-siblings both work now (the boy, J, works at a restaurant when he’s not attending classes at the local community college, and S. works at Target when she’s not at the University of South Florida).

And, of course, now that the Caregiver has found a new man less than a month after the death of the guy she dated after me, she is hardly ever home. So even though she bought a cake and placed the “Birthday Balloon” in honor of her firstborn child on the kitchen island to mark the occasion, she is not here. And Gamer Boy himself woke up way later than I did yesterday and made a brief trip to the kitchen to get something to eat before going out to meet with friends. I spoke to him briefly and, of course, wished him a “Happy Birthday.”

[2] Any movie would have done, except for Maid in Sweden. The Caregiver is, shall we say, squeamish about movies with a lot of nudity or adult situations, and even though Maid in Sweden is not a hardcore porn flick, it was made to show off Christina Lindberg’s admittedly gorgeous body to 1971 moviegoers. And since I didn’t know that my ex-girlfriend would be gone overnight, I didn’t want to be disrespectful of her feelings or incur her wrath (which can be formidable if she gets mad at someone). So movies like Maid in Sweden and Boogie Nights don’t get watched out in the common room out of respect for the homeowner.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

3 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, September 4, 2022, or: Sleepless in Seattle? No, More Like Restless in the Sunshine State….

  1. I hope you can sleep soon without Xanax. That’s a pain. I am lucky that I don’t have those issues, but my wife and my daughter do. Thank you for the cute dog picture. I noticed that in the notification email I got from you that the image caption for the Tom Clancy book and the Dog picture was messed up and not entirely underneath the image. I took a screenshot if you don’t mind. I am talking to WordPress tech support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have any Xanax on hand, so even if I wanted some (and I don’t, because I’ve been told it can be addictive), I can’t have any. I’ll just have to read a book or watch a movie tonight….or move in with Amy Adams.

      Re the preview issue of WordPress blog posts looking odd on email notifications, sure, I don’t mind. If it helps solve the issue, I’m cool with it.


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