I’ve decided to explore a new blogging niche. That of writing anti-blogs. Is anyone even doing it yet or have I finally stumbled upon something original? What I have in mind are specifically anti-manuals, anti-instructions and anti-advice. Since I suck at pretty much everything, particularly life, I thought I’d share my wisdom for the benefit of those whom I might serve as a cautionary story.

I quite enjoy the irony of this idea: I can’t save myself, yet I’m proposing to save the world. Okay, not to save the world, I’m more modest than that, hence I only seek to make the world a better place. Do you believe me? You shouldn’t! For fuck’s sake, you’re reading an anti-blog! Also, do I give the impression that I give a shit? I hope not. Scratch that. I don’t have hopes.

I’ve been sleep-deprived for quite a while now. Which may explain the preceding and the following. A bar recently opened right under my flat and I think my sleeplessness might be related to this fact. It’s not just a bar. It’s a rock music bar. A non-stop music bar, to be absolutely precise. I have their fucking jukebox right under my bed. No kidding. Let’s just say that the constant noise of varying quality and quantity doesn’t exactly facilitate sleep.

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Screw this shit

Which is where I’m getting down to my anti-advice. Aka, what you shouldn’t do when you’re trying to sleep. All the methods detailed below have been tested on myself and have been found inefficient, cumbersome and likely unsafe. While not recommended for human use, these methods seem to be safe for cats. Mine is not only not insomniac but appears perfectly at peace, especially in contrast to yours truly. My truly. Me.

The first method I tried consisted in listening to a meditation for sleep on the phone. This trick was actually nice and is comparatively safe. At least so I thought, until I talked to a friend, who happens to be a firefighter and who is obsessed with the idea that unattended phones in beds may spontaneously combust. Even when they are not Samsung. Do Samsung phones still explode? Just asking. I have a low-end phone and what it does is to freeze, so I assume no fireworks are happening here, literally or figuratively.

The second method I tried was purchasing a set of earplugs. I was very pleased with them because they looked cute and came in a pretty pod. They didn’t come with a manual, which displeased me, since I’m obsessed with manuals. So I googled. I was terrified, applying earplugs is basically nuclear science. However, apply them I did. Semi-successfully. They even worked, sort of, except my ears are still hurting from that foam shit. I must’ve misread the manual or something.

The third method I tried was to block the noise with even more noise. I was hoping one noise would cancel the other noise. Well, it doesn’t work like this. I selected an ambient ocean sound and played it in endless loop on the laptop. The roaring ocean was terrifying rather than relaxing. Though it did balance the noise nicely: there were drum beats coming from below and ocean screams coming from the left, where my laptop was sitting on the table. I didn’t dare to put it in the bed in case my firefighter friend would disapprove.

That much to my anti-manual so far. Excuse typos and general shit, I haven’t slept well. Like forever. Also, I’m writing this with my headphones on, listening to the roaring ocean. It sounds apocalyptic. I think it goes well with my life.

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

14 Comments

  1. The best advice I can give you Mara is using a fan large enough in size to cancel the offending sounds below out. My fan blade is around 15 inches. This works great in my apartment. Be well! ❤️😎

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    1. Now that would be a badass fan if it should block that noise! I’m trying to get some sleep when it’s quiet downstairs and I regularly go down to yell at them to turn it down a notch… I’m kidding. I ask them nicely. They usually do so, though it doesn’t always help.

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      1. I use a fan on a stand in the corner, the blade is about 15 inches in diameter. It drowns out everything. It’s louder or quieter depending on the selected blade speed. 💕

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        1. Oh I see! That’s brilliant. I’d probably die of exposure though if I used a fan in this climate.

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  2. Oh dear. Have you gone downstairs and asked to sing with the band? No? Hmm. I half expected the ocean music to switch to the theme from “Jaws.” Can you move to a different flat? Can your cat teach you meditation? That concludes my ideas. Good gosh, Mara. I hope you get some sleep soon.

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    1. LOL, the Jaws tune!! I totally missed the opportunity to insert the Jaws theme here. It’s one of my favourite movies and the music is just perfect.

      I sometimes do sing along with the music downstairs – while I’m upstairs 😀 And when it’s so late in the night that it’s getting light again, I go down and tell them to shut the fuck up finally.

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  3. I’ve used earplugs. My ears hurt. It’s not you, it’s the plugs. Especially since most of them are made of industrial-grade, we-don’t-care-about-you foam. The only ones that hurt less are called Hear-os, or something along those lines. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen them for sale in the U.S. Some friends have tried gooey ones made of I can’t remember what, but you shape them to your ear. They may be better. And one friend found some made of down, encased in little bitty cloth covers. She swore by them. (Her husband snored like a freight train.)

    May the bar go out of business. Tomorrow.

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    1. I’ve researched earplugs – I must be really getting old to search for sleeping aids rather than, say, porn – and I’ve seen various kinds, including the weird-looking kind which looks as if wax was poured into your ear and moulded to its shape. Nasty.

      I pray to the universe for the bar to go out of business and meanwhile, I’m working on tiring them down with making frequent trips downstairs in the middle of the night, bleary-eyed and with the cat on my shoulder, to threaten the waitress to turn the music down or…

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  4. And I meant to say, I love anti-advice. I have so had it with people who think they can tell me how to live my life or inspire me to be a better person. If I stood a chance of being a better person, I’d have been one by now. Fuck that. (Sorry–inspirational ideas inspire me to swear a lot.)

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    1. I maintain that anti-advice is the best advice you can get and give. No one should be as arrogant as to presume to give serious advice. I will shoot anyone who will dare to recite inspirational/motivational quotes to me.

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  5. You should read Ben’s Bitter Blog. He’s kind of an anti-blogger in that he only blogs about things that make him bitter.https://bensbitterblog.com/

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    1. Oh, I see! That’s a cool concept. I knew someone had thought of it before me! Thank you for the link!

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  6. Again, your post leads me to think of a Seinfeld episode. But on the other hand … during the eleven years they were on, the managed to cover the most unthinkable situations in life. In this particular one, George Costanza decided to “do the opposite”. He meant that his life was so screwed up so he’d do the opposite of everything he normally did. He saw this beautiful girl in the coffee shop, walked right up to her and introduced himself by saying; «Hi, my name is George, I’m unemployed and I live with my parents!» That turned out very well, and later that day he got a great job with the New York Yankees LOL

    I never leave any of my devices charging overnight when I’m sleeping and I totally agree with your firefighter friend.

    You have to find a different place to live …

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    1. That’s a wonderful story. I wish it wasn’t a TV series: you shouldn’t really draw life lessons from TV, I suspect. But it is nice.

      You’re right about the fire hazard, I realised I never leave the house when the washing machine is running or when any devices are charging – so I should obviously do the same when I’m sleeping. Basic survival skills…

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