The weekend before last I attended a b-party at the bride-to-be’s cabin in Big Bear. Loads of fun, but I also came away with two profound observations you might find useful as you head into the Thanksgiving Holiday. First, “Magic Mike,” staring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, is an awesome DVD you most definitely do not have to be sober to enjoy. Second, I discovered a new law of physics. Commit this to memory, ‘cause it is right up there with E=mc2. Ambien + alcohol + sleep loft = brain damage. So, “Magic Mike” … to be honest, I have no idea what this movie is about. We watched it with the sound off and fast-forwarded through any scene that didn’t involve a ridiculously gorgeous man doing a next-to-naked bump- and-grind. Still, the parts I saw? Two thumbs waaaay up. I was really impressed by the actors’ range. Whether portraying firemen, construction workers, cowboys or soldiers, these guys totally pulled it off. And by, “it,” I mean 99.9% of their clothes. Mercy, those lads are limber! Whatever yoga class they’re taking, sign me up. Sometime during the movie, my friend LMG disclosed she recently sat next to Channing Tatum on a flight from NY to LA. She disappointed us by reporting he chose to keep his clothes on the entire trip. According to LMG, who bitterly regretted not getting red carpet ready for her flight about three seconds after her seat-mate showed up, People Magazine’s 2012 Sexiest Man Alive is polite and friendly, but takes up a little more than his fair share of the leg room. After watching “Magic Mike,” I can see why. LMG forgave him. She’s a very forgiving person, especially if you happen to be the Sexiest Man Alive.
Nothing much connects my second epiphany, about Ambien and brain damage, to my first epiphany, regarding the cinematic genius of “Magic Mike,” (except, of course, the gratuitous amount of red wine I’d consumed during the evening). Let’s start by saying I love Ambien. Looooove it. If I ever meet the chemists who devised this insomnia cure, I will kiss them full on the mouth. This drug brought quality back to my life. Sleep had been a little bit of a problem for several years, but in 2009, after my son came along, sleep became a major problem. Once I woke up, (which you do several times a night when you have a little one), I couldn’t get back to sleep. Let me tell you, your life goes to hell in a hand-basket PDQ when you’re only getting eight hours of sleep – a week. After three years as a zombie, trying sleep journals, cool rooms, warm rooms, guided meditation, Melatonin, and Tylenol PM, I finally surrendered and talked to my physician. A sleep aid good enough for Seal Team VI was good enough for me. And it works. Like a … well … like a dream. I can still wake up and function if the little guy needs me, but I get can right back to sleep too. Heaven. However, the Sanofi-Avenis folks are very clear that you shouldn’t mix alcohol and Ambien. Why? The technical answer seems to revolve around the amount of GABA in the brain, but, short answer, alcohol intensifies the effect of the Ambien. Yet when my friend turned to me and said, “Let’s take our Ambien now!” I didn’t think, No, the manufacturers tell us not to use their drug as a chaser for a bottle of Cab. My thoughts were more along the lines of, WTF, I take this stuff so I can fall asleep. Anything that gives me an extra nudge into dreamland -- how wrong can it be?
That’s the last thing I remember about the evening. There was apparently a little more to the night, but I couldn’t tell you about it. I don’t remember saying nighty-night to anyone. Don’t remember going upstairs to the sleep loft and settling myself into a twin bed tucked under the tight angle where rafters met wall. All I remember is waking up at 3:00 a.m. with my bladder ready to burst. Naturally, I sat up to get my bearings – and slammed my head into a roof rafter so hard I actually saw God. He was laughing his ass off. I staggered to the bathroom to inspect my shattered my skull. Happily, those bones are still pretty hard. Everything stayed intact and … surprise, surprise … my brain wasn’t dribbling out my ear. But then I was afraid to fall back to sleep in case I had a concussion, so I got myself a diet soda and laid there in the dark, quizzing myself on multiplication tables until sunrise. This led to a third epiphany. I suck at math. But I kinda knew that already. So, to reiterate the lessons learned:
1) “Magic Mike” – Best movie I’ve ever seen where dialog and plot were totally superfluous.
2) Ambien – Don’t mix with alcohol and sleep loft unless you wear a helmet to bed. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.