Now, I'm one of those guys who loves to drive. I mean, give me an excuse to hop in my car and I'm off. I'll go on drives out to the middle of nowhere just for the fun of it! But one thing I hate is driving when I'm tired.

You know what I mean: long day at work/school/the mall, you just want to get home and go to bed, but you've driven this route SO many times that you just start nodding off.... Micro-sleeps: when you nod your head and close your eyes for one second and then jerk awake and have to spend half a minute trying to figure out where you are. It's amazing (and scary) how far you can travel without actually paying attention to the road. I've survived hundreds of micro-sleeps (though I had a car that got totaled because of one; but that's a story for another post).

The heart of this subject, I guess, is how to stay awake. Everyone has a method: for me it's rolling down the windows, blaring music, singing, slapping myself in the face (you should see the looks I get from some passengers when this happens). I know other people who will smoke (cigarettes OR cigars), some who will buy energy drinks or energy pills, and others who just blink like crazy and look like they're trying to do the Macarena in their seat! There are some crazy ways to stay awake out there. Reminds me of a couple lines from a song I know:

Hey, how do you stay awake at 4:00 am?
"I try the rhythm method!" BAM, BAM, BAM!
Alive, awake, alert, awake, alive, awake, alert!
It's good if it's engaging (it's better if it hurts...)

- from "Wichita" by The Billies

I'm the assistant director for a play, and tonight during rehearsal the lead actor finds me outside where I'm working on a part for another one of the actors. He says the director needs to have a word with me and takes me inside. The next thing I know, he counts, "One, two, three!" and everyone starts singing Happy Birthday! Ahhh, how sweet.... only my birthday is in March. Hmmmm.... Pull out my drivers license, check the birthdate; yup, my birthday's in March. So....

Apparently, in between rehearsing a scene someone had said something about "birthday" and the star of the show had asked "Who's birthday is it?" and somebody said, "It's Maze's!" The director then said she felt bad because she'd been rude to me earlier, and one thing led to another and they ended up singing Happy Birthday to me. I felt bad telling them it wasn't my birthday!!

So make sure it REALLY IS someone's birthday before you get a whole group of people to sing to them. Works out better for everyone. ;-)

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