Sleep Paralysis

Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis?  I have.  Quite often actually.  For months now.  It’s terrifying.  Sleep paralysis happens, for me, soon after I try to go to sleep.  I’ll be laying in bed and I’ll feel as though I’m awake but I cannot move.  It’s like there is an incredible weight on me, holding me down.  I’ve heard people say that it happens for them right after waking.  I’m almost jealous because at least they got some sleep first!  The whole thing just SUCKS though.  It sucks.  It’s scary and sometimes I actually am awake when it’s happening and that becomes very confusing for the times when I am not.
Sometimes during sleep paralysis I’ll think I’m awake.  I’ll wake up in my dream and go through the motions of my morning.  Then something will happen.  I’ll be chased or fall or something and I’ll say, “wow nope, this is definitely a dream”.  But if I’ve fallen then I cannot get up.  If I’m being chased then it’s impossible to run or scream.  I can’t move, in my dream, because I am so terrified (flight, fight or freeze. I guess I’m all about that freezing).  Obviously I do always wake up eventually but I never feel rested.  And because it’s during the beginning of my sleep, it’s scary to try and go back to sleep.  Last night I went through this three times before I finally rifted off.
I hate this.  At least it’s not night terrors…but I hate it.

So hashing.

“Drinkers with a running problem”, or “hashers”, make up the biggest running club on Earth. There are over 2,000 “kennels” (groups) spread out over all six continents.
There are no rules in the hash other than “you do not have to do anything you do not want to do” and “hashers not trashers”. There are, however, many traditions. These include singing silly (and sometimes extremely fucked up) songs, drinking out of your shoe, down-downs, etc.
When the kennel comes together to hash there are one or more, usually pre-selected, “hares”. The hare(s) run in front of the “pack” and lay trail. The pack tries to “snare the hare” (catch up) while not getting lost on trail. Trail is marked with chalk, flour, toilet paper, etc. You can use pretty much anything but we try to keep things clean (see the second rule above). Marking trail includes marks called a “hash” which is normally either a blob of flour or an X marked in chalk and a “checkpoint” which is normally a circle and means trail could be anywhere in 369 degrees. There are also “bad trail” marks (which means you need to go back to the last checkpoint and find the “true trail”), and a few others.

Here’s a visualization for the markings.

Here is a brief history of hashing. (All hail G)

It’s basically a scavenger hunt for beer (although yesterday the hares left a bottle of whiskey on trail. That was…interesting) and a way to socialize and have fun with like minded people without worrying that anything will go wrong.

My first hash was last July. My friend had been trying to get me to hash for months but I googled it (sometimes that’s a bad thing) and didn’t think it was my scene. I finally went and was extremely upset that I hadn’t been before. I jumped straight in and didn’t look back. During my first week of hashing I went to a hashy weekend with 50 strangers (and my friend). We ran five trails in three days. There was soju and bottle rockets and I think I was in a bra and running shorts the entire time. It was amazing.

One of my favourite things about hashing is that your life outside of hashing (your “muggle” or “nerd” life) doesn’t matter. When I hashed in Korea a new guy came in from DC. Said he used to work at the Pentagon and his name was Prairie Dog (everyone gets a nickname). That was that. No one asked questions. The next week during the change of command ceremony for the vice wing commander we all looked at each other and went, “isn’t that Prairie Dog??”. What happens at the hash stays at the hash (unless someone gets arrested or dead or an entire pack gets lost in the mountains of Guam) and what happens outside of it doesn’t matter in the hash.

This weekend eight or so people came to Italy from Germany to hash and go to Carnivale. Most of the group was 40+ and it included two married couples, one in their late 60’s. All respectable members of society (well. I guess that’s debatable but whatever).  Everyone ran trail and drank beer all weekend and crashed in one house are now the Germany crew is headed home because we all have work tomorrow. Some partied less than others (me, me, pick me. I like sleep) but we all had a damn good time and met more awesome people.

As a hasher you have instant friends anywhere in the world. The first thing I did here was look up the hash. My now good friend Kim, who I had never met before, picked me up from my hotel and took me to trail. These are the kindest people, I swear. I have never met a hasher who wouldn’t give you a place to sleep, food to eat, beer to drink and even the shirt off their back (even outside of clothing exchange. Which is another mark you sometimes see on trail) if needed. Of course there are always exceptions, but I don’t know any.

There are even family friendly hashes where pop is provided and the songs aren’t raunchy.

As an introvert who cannot stand being around people constantly and needs to be alone frequently in order to re-energize, I would rather stuff myself in to a hostel with 50 other hashers for a week (or 500 others. Eurohash is a thing) than stay at home and watch Netflix. I never knew that there were people who could bring that out of me.

I love hashing.

If you would like to try hashing, you can find a kennel here.

May your cup overflow…

with coffee.

No but really, I’m the type of person who fills everything to the max. A boiling pot gets the whole box of noodles, a hot pan gets all of the eggs it can take (and then they normally spill all over the stove top), my four-person table fits more people than you would imagine is possible and my head just keeps everything jammed in there until I explode.

And then, some days, the noodles don’t all fit in the pot. I’m serious, today not all of the noodles fit in my pot and it made me really annoyed. Normally I’m doing spaghetti, not fettuccine, so I guess it makes sense. Thicker noodles obviously don’t fit the same as the thinner ones. Two pots of boiling water it is, but I only own one pot. So that takes longer.

Fettuccine is for the dinner party I’m hosting tonight. I need to find more chairs, there are more people coming than chairs that I own. Or plates, for that matter. Some people are just going to have to eat one thing, rinse out their bowl, then put something else in it. Suckers. Maybe I’ll make them sit on the counters. The counters (and table) currently cluttered with everything from the past week. I don’t necessarily LIKE dumping things in the kitchen, it just sort of happens that way. My front (only) door is in the kitchen and every other room in the house is up.

I love my house, it’s very narrow and adorable. I wish it were actually mine but I feel very blessed to be able to rent it for my years in Italy. The first floor is the kitchen and a small bathroom with a (currently broken) washing machine. Second floor is living room and a “study” except the study is filled with cabinets that make it too narrow for a desk or anything. But that’s fine. It’s storage space for now. Third floor is two bedrooms and a full bathroom (with a jacuzzi tub!). The “master” bedroom isn’t the one that I’m using and my landlord thinks that that is so weird. It’s bigger and it has the wardrobes! The smaller room has a skylight though and I love it more than anything. It’s tiny and cozy and that means that my (air) bed takes up more room and I don’t feel like things can/will go bump in the night as long as my door is closed.

I have a date to attend Airman Leadership School (ALS). It’s my first step towards obtaining the next rank and one of my last before I can get a certification to do my job as a civilian. I don’t think I want to do my job as a civilian. Not yet. Maybe someday, but not in the next few years. The certification would still be nice though. Just in case.

ALS is a month-long course and I about had a panic attack when I got the e-mail congratulating me for obtaining a spot in the class. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited…it’s just a logistical nightmare since my car won’t be here (still) for another couple months. It takes place a good bit farther away from my house from work which means it’ll take at least 2 hours to bike there. It takes me an hour to bike to work. I’ll have to leave by about 0430 the first day to make sure that I’m on time and then I’ll tailor it from there. Ew. I did call and ask if they have space for me to keep my uniforms. They said that they do so that’s something anyway.

After spending the last 2 hours making rolls and chicken fettuccine, I now remember that two of my dinner guests are gluten intolerant. -_- I have edamame and mung bean noodles so that takes care of that but I don’t think I have any gluten-free flour left. Guess they don’t get rolls. Nobody’d better be lactose intolerant cuz SUCKS FOR THEM.

I lied. I have everything to make cashew cheese. Guess I’mma call everyone now and make sure.

I told my Dad that it takes a long time for things to get done in Italy. He said it’s because no one wants to work. I completely disagree.
The mindset over here is way more relaxed than back home. Nothing has to happen right now. Everything can wait another day or two unless it’s an emergency…of which there are few that aren’t medical. I like their pace. I like reposo (even though I don’t get to practice it). I love that family is important and the work pace isn’t breakneck.
It’s great here.

I didn’t work for almost a month and a half and it was just like school vacation only better.
Then I came back to work and put on my pants…and they do not fit.
Forget the pasta, I’m eating greens and running until I fit in my pants again. I am a size 8, damnit. Not any higher. Uniforms are too expensive for that.
I’ve cleansed my living quarters of all things bad for me (except wine) (and I limit myself…?) and I’ve been running and biking daily for over a week but I’m up 2lbs?
What the heck body.
I have never in my life weighed this much and it’s disgusting. I feel disgusting now that I have mandatory things to do during the day instead of just napping on Mom’s couch and hanging out in coffee shops with friends.

It was really nice not to be an adult for a while back home. I don’t mind getting up and going to work, it gives me something to do with my day. The rest of it though? The paperwork and the bills and the responsibility?
I don’t like all of that. Not at all. It’s a pain in the ass. I just want to drink coffee and read and work and deal with nothing else.