A Bit of Turbulence

I know what you’re thinking — based off my latest posts and Instagram “Mary Talks,” this is probably going to be all about overcoming the hurdles of my many mental illnesses, about therapy and big pharma and ENDURING TO THE END.

But it’s not. It’s about the time I was on a plane and had to pee the worst I’ve ever had to pee (that’s probably an exaggeration).

Husband and I recently took a little jaunt to Boston for a vocal competition (which I was promptly cut from in round two, so we spent the remainder of our time as tourists, which was WAY better). Because we brilliantly decided to take a red-eye the morning of my competition (and no, I don’t attribute that to why I was cut), that meant I’d need to be as hydrated as possible all night long, that morning, and till the actual competition. There would be no shriveled up skin or vocal chords that day.

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Photo found here

The problem with drinking an entire large water bottle while waiting to board your plane is that you aren’t really given the opportunity to sweat it out, so you’re left with a bladder that magically re-fills itself almost immediately after bathroom usage. And despite using the restroom RIGHT BEFORE stepping onto the plane, I had to go upon being seated.

To avoid using public restrooms as much as possible, I have a tendency to tell myself to hold it.

So we waited while the remaining passengers boarded the plane (which was everyone, btw), whereupon everyone slapped on the eye masks the airline handed out and promptly fell asleep, including (but not limited to) my husband (center seat) and The Woman (aisle seat). Of course I took the window seat because the window seat is the best, most desirable. This is not actually the case when you suddenly have a pregnant woman’s bladder.

I was then left with a dilemma. Do I attempt to hold it for the next six hours or do I climb over husband and The Woman, waking them up, and step into what I can only imagine is one of the most under-cleaned bathrooms ever? Initially, holding it felt like the best option.

But then we hit turbulence. And it wasn’t the sort of turbulence that felt a wee bit bumpy. It was the sort of turbulence that shook the plane, made you think you were actually on a terrible amusement park ride that was going to result in dozens of bloody deaths, and actually forced your bladder to do flip flops in your body. I thought, “I’ll be fine. Deep breaths, and this too shall pass.” But then it didn’t pass. It continued FOR LIKE AN ENTIRE HOUR.

turbulence_bumpy-ride

Photo found here

Of course, during this time, the flight crew kept reminding us the seatbelt light was on and we weren’t supposed to get out of our seats for our safety blah blah blah, and not even the flight attendants were responding to calls unless they were dire emergency, which to be honest, I considered mine to be, but probably no one else would have agreed. So I was stuck, for an hour, in the window seat, with a bladder that was filling up by the second (I hit a point where I felt like I had water sitting in my esophagus that couldn’t go anywhere).

It was too much. I waited for the turbulence to downgrade itself to the Dumbo ride at Disneyland and stood up, climbed over husband, and then … deep breath … climbed ever so gently over the Woman who had somehow slept through everything that had just happened. I envisioned her suddenly waking up, my derriere in her face as I was straddling her to get into the aisle. Lawsuits. Court appearances. I was wondering why I thought I should go to Boston in the first place.

The flight attendant was quick to remind me that the seatbelt sign was still on and that we had been asked by the flight crew to not leave our seats, but I hastily announced that I had to pee REAL BAD and used words like EMERGENCY and jumped into the lavatory.

You know that scene in “A League of Their Own” in which Tom Hanks pees for what feels like an abnormally long period of time? That was me, you guys. I kind of hoped I’d open the door and one of the flight attendants or another passenger would say to me, impressed, “Good peein'”, but it didn’t happen. No one was impressed, no one said anything, and I had to climb back over The Woman and husband to my empty window seat with nary a compliment.

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Photo found here

Incidentally, I became remarkably dehydrated on our second day, to the point that I felt as though I might pass out or die, with a headache that somehow went down my back and throbbed with each heartbeat because I cannot win.

Ah-ah, I Workout

Wow, three months. That’s got to be a record of ignoring my blog (so that means, Puneet, I can literally never rag on you again). And chances are, the world has forgotten about my wry sense of humor and dry wit (yeah, the whole world. I’m pretty sure the whole world was reading my blog, which explains all the fame and fortune).

I don’t really have any solid excuses for it either. I mean, I got really busy doing four shows this year, but also I don’t have a day job, so using it to explain away why I haven’t done the dishes/laundry/chores/meal planning/writing/reading is actually super weak, and I realize that. But I also found that with a newfound lack of major depression coupled with no longer having a soul-sucking clerical job, my low points weren’t particularly plentiful. I mean, really, my life is pretty bomb. We bought a house, we have a really stupid destructive puppy (but she is so so cute that we just deal with it, plus we understand how anxiety works, and she just wants love you guys), Stella is still perfect, and a really fabulous sushi restaurant opened mere minutes from our neighborhood.

We ate food from there two nights in a row last week. We regret nothing.

BUT if we’re going to be real, there’s been this black cloud of low pointage really looming over my head, and I’ve now finally broken down to share my woes and cry with you all: The Gym.

Ugh.

To be fair, we didn’t actually join a gym (you know, the 24 Hour Gold Anytime Planet variety, with meatheads who grunt and check themselves out in all the mirrors and girls who actually cheer in Zumba); we joined a local rec center. Like, the nicest rec center of our lives.

Photo courtesy herrimantowncenter.com

Photo courtesy herrimantowncenter.com

I’m not even kidding, that’s where we work out. I wasn’t exaggerating about it being nice. It’s like Adobe except without the pdfs.

So it’s not the actual gym/rec center-ness that’s the problem. Clearly. It’s this fancy state-of-the-art building with fancy classes and fancy machines with individual TVs and iPod jacks that all work and fancy locker rooms that don’t smell like Axe body spray and like, the fanciest pool I’ve ever seen short of a water park. Also, these:

Image courtesy amazon.com

Image courtesy amazon.com

In every. single. bathroom.

So, yeah, spending time at this place can be fairly enjoyable for me. The problem, however, lies in the fact that I have to go there on a pretty regular basis (I was killing it and going every day till I got sick one day or maybe injured or perhaps I was just feeling lazy and then it all went to pot, so I go maybe three times a week instead). I mean, enjoyable or not, I have to be there, and I don’t like that too much.

Reasons Why

First off, I have to wear a bra, and the worst kind at that, because, you know. I shouldn’t have to spell it out for you.

Second, I have to wear pants or else they won’t let me in.

Also, the part about adulthood people don’t really tell you about when you’re young is how your metabolism rate dies a horrible, tragic death, and then you’re FORCED to eat healthfully and exercise regularly if you don’t want to become a character actor.

[I could get used to being a character actor, I’m sure of it.]

And have you ever lived in Utah during the wintertime? Unacceptably miserable. That 5:30 am TRX class sucked to begin with, but when paired with temperatures sitting in the teens, it’s downright life-ruining. I don’t want to leave the house to get in the car, and once I’m in the car, I don’t want to leave it to enter the gym, and once I’ve finished the class, I don’t want to go back outside either.

Yeah, you heard me, 5:30 am. I married a sadist, obviously.

I don’t want to say that the stomach bug I’ve been enduring the past week has been a blessing exactly … I mean, feeling gross 24/7 is clearly not the preferred option, and though I haven’t puked for a week now, I’m growing weary of regretting everything that passes through my lips (yesterday’s Red Robin, for example, which was still probably worth it). But it’s also gotten me out of going to the gym at ungodly hours for classes that make me feel sore, so … it might be a win.

On Getting Older

There will come, at some point in your still relatively young life, when you will inexplicably become a “ma’am.” This is devastating, trust me, and there’s little you can do to stop it. After all, you’re apparently older than all the people, and if you’re married, that really seals the deal. Obviously all the married women are “ma’am”s because what else could we possibly be? YOU COULDN’T USE OUR NAMES OR ANYTHING.

I just found out tonight, for example, that Tom from “The Blacklist” IS ACTUALLY YOUNGER THAN ME IN THE REAL LIFE. How did that happen? How did actors portraying grown up adult characters become younger than moi? When was it that actors in my age demographic started pushing eye cream in commercials? What’s next — Depends? Poise pads for those little leaks?

I don’t want to talk about it.

I mean, don’t get me wrong — there are some definite benefits to getting older. You’re completely content sitting in the back of a concert, for example, and enjoying the music from afar while wearing earplugs. You finally feel comfortable in your own skin, and you care very little about what other people might be thinking about you (this occurred for me in the last year, and it’s been thrilling). People stop carding you at bars (which I realize is pretty moot for me since I always order virgin beverages … if I even order anything fancier than, say, flavored lemonade, but still. It’s nice). It’s okay for you to not have a completely flat stomach because the vast majority of society accepts that, barring the circumstances of you having a personal trainer and nutritionist because you’re famous and always on screen, you’d have to do unthinkable things every day to maintain such a physique. You know, like giving up bread or exercising multiple hours a week. Hours without bread. I mean, that’s just the worst ever. So a little bit of softness is acceptable.

But then the cons are pretty obvious — you can’t eat fast food at midnight and not suffer really terrible consequences the next day (and the next day and the next day and the next day). You can actually somehow gain five pounds in a week just like dark magic. You can run for three miles a day a few times a week and your ankles will get a little thinner. And you tell yourself it’s okay that you have a soft middle because society accepts it. You even write it in your blog like maybe it’s actually the truth.

Your body will start to degenerate in an alarmingly quick fashion, and you’ll be like, “Holy crap when did I become my parents?” Your knees will just never be the same, you guys. And also, it’s amazing the number of pills you can ingest over the course of a day. You look at your grandparents’ prescription stash with shock and awe, but let me tell you, that’s just around the corner for you. I have a flipping pharmacy in my house. And sometimes I actually find pins on Pinterest about great ways to store medications in the bathroom closet, and I RE-PIN THEM. Whatever, it’s cool.

But this getting older business: it appears that almost everyone does it. The (un)funny part about it is that no one makes it out alive (#tastelessjoke), either.

A Message to the Girls of the World

I’m thirty, which to some of you is painfully old (like your parents) and to some not too bad. But one thing is certain: I’ve experienced a lot of stuff in these thirty years, despite you thinking perhaps we old folk don’t get it (we do).

Being a grown up is both enjoyable and adversely terrible. Like, you can take naps, but it’s kind of frowned upon by some, and if you take one too late or too long, your body clock is thusly screwed up for the next month. And you have to pay for everything, which let me tell you is a mega bummer. Your mom isn’t around to clean the house, so unless you’re fine with living in squalor, you have to clean it. Every week. Dishes: the bane of our existence. Even with a dishwasher, trust me. They’re just always there no matter what.

PAP smears suck about as much as you assume they do. The key is never have sex and then you can get one every three years (I’m kind of kidding but also kind of not because seriously no one likes to go to the OB/GYN). Sometimes you just don’t want to wear a bra, in which case don’t. You’ll find that home becomes wherever the pants aren’t — they’re the first thing to come off, and I don’t say that in a crude, sexual manner. I mean it in an “Adults hate to wear pants” way.

Don’t let yourself go when you get married. I’m not sure if this is a myth or reality, but it seems to happen all the time (I started to let myself go on the honeymoon, which God bless my husband for sticking around this long). I don’t mean to stress about your weight or your hair or your makeup or your clothes, but trust me: you feel better about yourself and your day when you’re clean and are wearing real clothes rather than sweats. Leggings are real clothes, I kid you not. Invest in several pairs because they’re like sweats but not. If you find a guy who wants you to always have long hair, ditch him.

Image  courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

I’ve put Husband through the ringer with all my many hairstyles, and there have definitely been some he hated. Guess what: he didn’t divorce me, and he still kissed me when he got home from work. We may have come to an agreement that such hairstyles won’t make an appearance again forever awhile, but in all reality, I wasn’t particularly crazy about them either (don’t tell him. He’ll get a big head.)

If you find a man who makes you forget yourself, tells you what to do, makes you feel lonely, hates the things you love to do, doesn’t support every single hobby you ever try out, even the lame ones everybody knows won’t work out — if he seems to only love you conditionally, if you can’t fart in front of him, if you’re worried about what he’ll think when you take off your makeup and slide in your night guard, HE. IS. NOT. THE. ONE. Look, I get it, you’re hardwired and built to have a companion all the days of your eternity, so you just wanna be with someone all the time and snuggle. I got married about six years later than I thought I might in high school (high school Mary was really eager and hopeful), and I’m glad I had to wait. It helped me weed out the idiots and hone in on exactly what I didn’t want, so when I met Husband, it was quick and painless.

Men can still be as awful as boys and teenagers, and there’s something inherently worse about that because they’re grown ups, so they should know better. Chances are, they were raised by their mothers to become gentlemen, and they just missed the mark. Heartbreak is inevitable.

Enjoy making out now because when you get married, it’s basically never going to happen.

If you want the cookie, eat the damn cookie. I went a stretch counting calories and measuring my food, and sure the end results were freakin awesome, but I was truly miserable the entire thing. Just remember: portion control. Eat what you want, just a little less of it as you get older. Because trust me when I say you’ll turn 23, and your metabolism rate will give up the ghost. Exercise in the way you want to — if you hate running, then seriously don’t run. I mean, really. Life is way too short to spend a portion of your day in the gym doing something that makes you unhappy (even if it’s making you chemically overjoyed. Endorphins aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.)

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Money will get tight at some point in your life, unless you marry an heir/heiress who is just independently wealthy. Being forced to live budget-friendly will help you out for the rest of your life, even though it feels awful at the time, but DO NOT under any circumstances, buy store brand cheese. You can save money elsewhere — cheese is not the place to do it. Same goes for butter, unless, I suppose, you’re allergic to lactose. I’m so, so, so sorry. Cheese is what will get you through every single hard time, so splurge a little. Buy the Tillamook.

Even when you’re a grown up, you’ll be able to sense when people don’t like you. Don’t let this deter you — be nice, always, and surround yourself with people who think you’re as great as you think they are. Find others who laugh at all your jokes, like all your Facebook status updates, and go to all the movies your husband won’t (chick flicks, documentaries, based on true stories, dramas, Jane Austen, etc. If it doesn’t blow up, he’s not going to want any part of it.) Sometimes adults form mini cliques. It’s just a human thing.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

This will become easier the older you get. I promise.

Despite what a lot of people say (and I assume they do this to snow themselves and everyone around them), sometimes people have pretty perfect lives. Their houses are big and clean, their cars are nice, their kids are well-behaved, their marriages are great. Don’t let anyone else’s life affect yours. It’s an attitude thing, you get me? If you want a happy life, be happy, and things will work themselves out. You might be thirty years old, living in a condo you’re renting that has mold along some of the windows and an upstairs neighbor who floods your laundry room and entryway. You might really suck at vacuuming and dusting, and you might drive modest cars because that’s what you can afford. Doesn’t mean your life is any less perfect than someone else’s. So applaud the frenemy who started her own blog, the one who got married at a big venue, the one whose husband makes $150k/year. We all need to stick together and help a sister out. It’s cool if their lives are different from yours. Different never means better or worse. Ever.

And remember:

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Hell Week

Hell week: The week leading up the opening night of a theatrical performance. (source: urbandictionary.com)

I’ve been through several hell weeks as a performer. Hell week is aptly named because it’s, you know, hell. You’re opening in a week, your set is finally finished, you’re in costume, you’re obviously off book, you’re running the show and running the show and running the show and running the show, and it hasn’t even opened to the general public.

We complain about hell week, but we love it.

But I had a very special type of hell week beginning this Monday that was completely unrelated to performing, and I have not loved it, not one bit. It started early Monday morning, when I woke up with Husband (for whatever reason) and decided to watch a little TV. I heard what sounded like water rushing down the pipes, but I didn’t think much about it because often when the upstairs neighbor showers, we hear it. But it sounded pretty loud, and that perturbed me, especially after looking out the window and seeing nothing but sun and blue skies. I walked into the laundry room, where I heard the pitter patter of small water droplets hitting the dryer, creating a small pool of water on the linoleum. But it was louder than just that, and I turned with trepidation towards the closet housing our water heater and furnace.

It's raining all up in here.

It’s raining all up in here.

This picture doesn’t really do justice to the horror I was met with, but I can’t upload video. Suffice it to say … it sounded like I was in a rainforest. Except I was in my condo.

Obviously I ran upstairs and banged on the neighbor’s door and rang her bell ad nauseum, but she was gone, and I was left with a lake seeping out her door and building up in my own condo. Long story short, I called the landlord, I called the Husband, we had a party, and things are getting back to normal.

Good.

Good.

The thing about getting a flood fixed is that it’s about as inconvenient as the flood itself. Because they have to do things like rip up your carpet and remove the soaked padding and take off all the baseboards and vent covers and move your washer and dryer (and potentially dent it during the process) and drill holes in your wall and ceiling and then remove the drywall and place industrial-sized fans all over the entryway, hallway, and guest bath that will literally drive you crazy. The dehumidifier will make your house freakishly hot. The cat will be unhappy. And it’ll last a few days — it will. It’ll be Thursday, and they’ll just be starting on replacing your wall, and you’ll probably hate life.

My questions are: will they clean up the dust and mess all over everything? And will they fill the holes?

My questions are: will they clean up the dust and mess all over everything? And will they fill the holes?

So that happened.

And then on Tuesday morning around 1:00 am, Husband woke me up from my fantastically deep sleep (thank God for sleep aids) because sweet, old, deaf, blind kitty had a seizure. I’m not really equipped for things like that, just fyi, and my anxiety and depression kicked into full throttle. I’m pleased to report she’s doing better and hasn’t relapsed since, but that hasn’t really stopped me from being on edge, worried that something else might happen.

Kitten face. She has a kitten face, you guys.

Kitten face. She has a kitten face, you guys.

We knew when we adopted a 15+ year old cat that things could happen. But I was living in blissful fantasy, assuming she’d magically regain her vision and hearing and live another ten years, knowing all the while that we just love her to death.

Also, weight gain like I’m preparing to hibernate for the winter.

The Night I Needed “Galaxy Quest”

Guys, depression is so, so stupid. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Why human people were built to be able to feel this sad for extended periods of time is kind of a joke, you feel physically unwell (chronic headaches that aren’t affected at all by pain reliever? Cool), and chances are you gain weight.

Which kind of bums you out more.

Although I will say my sleep aid is finally working, and I sleep like a boss these days — and during the nighttime, even, which is cool since there’s really no good TV at 3:30 am. So I mean, little glimmers of hope here and there. And when I’m feeling social and am around people doing stuff I like, I feel reasonably happy — makeup, singing, makeup, singing, it’s all just good stuff.

Days spent home alone, though? Caverns of further depression. The sleep aid worked a little better than anticipated last night, so when I woke up at 12:00 noon (precisely the time church ends), I was looking at an entire day at home, with Husband, Princess Fluffybutt, and our new old girl who basically sleeps all day long, interspersed with sneezing. Don’t get me wrong — I super love my family and spending time with them, but I usually need some sort of social interaction outside of the home to get me really going.

Post-gaming, Husband declared he wanted to watch “Galaxy Quest” during dinner (which I made out of real actual food that wasn’t pre-packaged or frozen — LIKE A REAL PERSON!), and that didn’t sound too bad because, after all, Alan Rickman. And, incidentally, it was kind of what I needed.

Image courtesy of tortagialla.com

Image courtesy of tortagialla.com

It’s not like I didn’t know the catchphrase of the movie, I just hadn’t been thinking about it a lot these days because mostly that would be weird. But when it came up the first time of the movie, it kind of struck a chord with me (I know, total nerd moment, bear with me). There are few things easier than surrendering to clinical depression — I think I can probably speak on behalf of most depression sufferers when I say that (although if I’m really wrong, please let me know). The bed seems softer and more welcoming, preparing food seems cumbersome, doing anything else seems nearly impossible. And it takes a lot to convince yourself to, like, function like a grown-up person.

This idea, giving up and never surrendering, while a little colloquial and corny simply because of its origin, is also meaningful and important. And I was briefly reminded, during this seriously fabulous movie (don’t even try to tell me you don’t love it because I’ll know you’re lying), that despite my desire to cancel life and stay in bed with my snuggly kitties till I became a candidate for TLC’s “My 600-lb Life,” I need to push on. It’ll be hard, and most of the time it might even suck, but in the end you might save an entire alien specie, make it on time to your Comic-Con event, and get a standing ovation.

And who doesn’t love a little standing ovation once in awhile?

Hey Remember How I Used to Blog?

Here’s what happened.

I took a lead role in a community theater production over the summer, and then I basically had no free time. I worked a half-time job (I know, I’m a total wuss because I wasn’t even working full-time) and spent dozens and dozens of hours rehearsing and performing and whenever I was on the computer, I didn’t really feel like blogging.

*Because sometimes I’m just a bad person.*

And then I quit my job and went to Disney World and got sick and started makeup artistry school, and I realized my blog wasn’t going to write itself (last colloquialism of the post, I promise) and I was probably losing followers, and the last thing I need in my life is for fewer people to like me. I just really like being liked.

So.

Let me tell you about the time I auditioned for a lead role in a professional theater company because I didn’t really know what exactly a professional theater company entailed and figured it would be more or less the same as community theater, except paying (which, I mean, is sort of accurate except NOT EVEN AT ALL, I AM SUCH A MORON). So I put on a dress and did up my makeup and worked with both voice teachers on my 16-bar cut (yeah, I have two voice teachers now, no big deal) and met my best friend, K, at the theater to razzle dazzle a bunch of strangers who would either receive me well or look at me, stone-faced, and say “thank you” after I sang. And to be honest, I figured this was just my foot in the door for the production staff to start getting used to my mug.

Husband + iPhone = best headshots I've ever had. Seriously.

Husband + iPhone = best headshots I’ve ever had. Seriously.

As it turns out, they liked me well enough (see also: I’m Asian-American in Utah — but seriously the director laughed several times in all the right places, so I think they did actually like me, and it’s just an added bonus that I’m, like, the one Asian actor in the entire state) and told me, upon finishing my audition, that they’d like to see me back the following day FOR A LEAD ROLE. This was baffling to me. I thought perhaps they were confused. I left before they could change their minds.

But here’s the thing. I realized in high school, after a brief stint thinking I might end up on Broadway, that I’m a great singer, a mediocre actor (this has improved thanks to my most recent director, Andrew Hunsaker, to whom I am eternally indebted), and a bad dancer. So I changed my plans because a lot of people on Broadway dance. It’s just kind of a thing, although why I have no idea because I think singing and acting SHOULD JUST BE ENOUGH, thankyouverymuch.

And I’d auditioned for a dance-heavy show.

WHICH I realized the day of callbacks, when almost every single woman was donning a leotard and the world’s shortest skirts and dance tights and character shoes and tap shoes, and I was walking around in my H&M leggings and then sitting in the corner eating glue, waiting for my turn. And then I kind of blew it. I was funny enough and charming enough and I sang really well under the circumstances of getting over a nasty head cold I picked up in Disney World (yeah, I got sick in Disney World, how lame is that). But dancing.

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

To be honest, if I’m at a dance or a mixer (I don’t even think those exist any more, and I don’t really have a lot of opportunity to dance these days unless I make it so, see also: the dance party I threw together post-Aida when we were breaking down the set, and by “we,” I mean the rest of the cast while I danced around holding an electric screwdriver so it looked like I was participating — I kid, I kid … that was more or less how it happened, but no one ever had anything for me to do, or perhaps they realized I’d be ultimately worthless in their attempts to go fast and just had me be guardian of the tools) then I’m not too bad. I’ve got a good sense of rhythm and I’m very bendy and limber and I can get down. But if I’m given choreography, particularly that of the fast variety, and I’m surrounded by people who know what they’re doing, I kind of freeze up and forget how to move my feet at the same time as my … everything else. And that’s what happened. I shuffled my feet around and stared very intently at the feet of the man to my left, which almost led to a collision, and I walked away feeling rather dejected.

But we’ve got the race card. And I was called back for a principal role at a professional theater on my first go around, so every once in awhile, I am struck with a false sense of hope like maybe, just maybe, I’ll make it into the show. As a set changer or something.

Something you should know and might already know if you’ve been following my blog or are my friend: I’m ridiculously impatient. Ridiculously so.

I just found out tonight that casting won’t occur for another 2-4 weeks. WEEKS. As in I will probably see at least 4 more photos of baby bumps from a couple friends. As in I could go on the Special K Challenge and lose 6 lbs. As in I could grow my hair out almost an inch. Things just HAPPEN in 2-4 weeks.

Ugh. Gross. Put me in a medically induced coma. Cryogenically freeze me. Anything to make the time pass.