Friday, March 11, 2005

Caffeine, Copious Amounts of Water, and Thou

I just managed a long night of thesis-writing, getting the bulk of my second chapter written in one night. I thought it might be interesting/keep me awake to periodically blog my adventures in trying to keep awake. Sorry for the length of the blog (this following Mikelaroo's complaint that my entries are so long!) Enjoy, and beware...

12:20am: Decide that it's high time to change into comfortable clothes and settle down for the long haul. Change into red sweatpants and burgundy (I am the height of fashion) long-sleeved t-shirt.

12:30am: Attempt to keep writing. Check e-mail. Discover that am already sleepy. Decide to make caffeinated beverage.

1:11am: have now drunk my Vietnamese Iced Milk Coffee (middling quality: the sweetened condensed milk has been in my fridge forever, and I rescued whatever was still liquid from beneath a large crust. Gross. And so there were a few chunks of nasty at the bottom. But it served its purpose, and didn't taste like coffee), and have a large chocolate toy soldier (Christmas present from Meg) beside me. Song playing: "Cheek to Cheek," Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Have already changed the subject line once. Now it reads, "Watch Me Be Foolish..." It used to read "Adventures Trying To Pull an All-Nighter," but that sounded awfully presumptuous. Who knows if I won't conk out in a couple of hours? Espresso guarantees me nothing.

1:44am: Song playing - "Dreaming My Dreams" by the Cranberries. Have become mesmerised by how small the scroll box on the side has become. I don't know whether I've dealt with a Word document this large before. I'm on page 53, meaning this chapter is now 13 pages long. 10 of those pages are on the role of women, and how they are used as indicators of moral health. Oh my. Begin to look longingly at the chocolate soldier. Lose the ability to use the first person pronoun. Now it's "I'm Not Through With You Yet" by Sloan. Feel the need to sing the harmonies, quietly. (Is Meg asleep?)

1:50am: Begin water bottle #1. Notice that blender is on the floor of the dining room , under the table, still plugged in. Have memories of making smoothies. What day was that? Song: "I'll Be Okay," by Amanda Marshall.

1:52am: Wonder how I just wasted two minutes. Is my clock really fast? Ack! Now it's 1:53! Begin to think that caffeine makes me paranoid.

2:19am: Page count - 54. How does it go so slowly, when I feel like I'm constantly writing? I can't even begin to imagine how many times I've written "degenerate" or "degeneracy." I am currently running out of synonyms. Current song: "Hallelujah," Rufus Wainwright. Have stopped caring about spelling. Am troubled by now listening to the MASH theme song (with lyrics) while writing about Labude's suicide.

2:31am: Finally move on to the next novel, after committing (spelling? Nothing looks right now.) about 12 pages to representations of women in Fabian. Begin water bottle #2. Song: "I Can Feel It," Sloan. Do not attempt harmonies. Head feels a bit detatched from body. Okay, I lied. I started harmonising.

2:33am: I will contend, right now, that "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor is The. Best. Song. Ever. Or it could be the 2:34am talking. This is the second song tonight to feature cello. I love cello. (First cello song: "I Do," by Jude. What's with the maudelin music choices tonight? Oh, "Girly/Mellowish Music" playlist.)

3:27 am: Water content: more than 1 L. Caffeine content: a double shot of espresso. Page count: 56. Song: "Cloudy" by Simon and Garfunkel. Have found my second wind. The subject area is more pleasant now, thankfully. Song: "Fever" by Peggy Lee. Just saved this post, out of fear of losing my comments.

4:14am: How am I still awake? Essentially, if I keep staring at this screen, I don't feel sleepy. In fact, I've had some clever thoughts tonight. The writing is going smoothly (as it always does, when I feel panicked enough to make myself work). How does one re-create such a feeling when one doesn't have an immediately-impending deadline? Page Count: 58. Word Count: 15 260. The length of this paper now seems surreal to me. Actually, everything seems surreal to me right now. Song: "Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)," Julie Andrews. Why am I listening to a lullaby? Oh boy. Now it's "On My Own" from Les Miserables. Fan-tastic.

4:19am: My kingdom for some chapstick. I find the idea of getting out of this chair unfathomable. Newest subject line: "Caffeine, Copious Amounts of Water, and Thou."

4:39am: I just finished my seventh inning stretch; there is nothing like yoga after 4am. I made sure I did some inverted positions to send some more blood to my brain. Song: "Danny's Song," Anne Murray.

5:04am: Sometimes find self staring blankly at screen, unsure how long I've been doing that. Songs: "Circle of Friends," Edie Brickell & New Bohemians; "Skeletons of Quinto," Folksmen (A Mighty Wind).

5:43am: Page count: 60. Song: "She's Always a Woman," Billy Joel. Am losing steam; closed eyes for a few seconds a little while ago. Am also hungry -- I wonder if we still have some of those creepy pretzels? Failing that, I shall put cream cheese on crackers. I'm sort of transitioning out of women's studies now, and am planning out the rest of the chapter. Just zoned out and stared at the computer screen for a while there. It's now 5:47am.

I think it's time to stop now. I'm not going to get much more effective work done without some sleep. Thank you for humouring me through this journey. Yes, journey. You heard me. Good night? Good morning? Who knows anymore? Good something, folks.

1 comment:

Chris Reed said...

Congrats on your almost all-nighter. Now you just have to try a month of that to experience the true paranoia/surrealness that was my internship. Your body eventually adapts . . . or dies.

Chris Reed