Eric versus Eric’s brain

Broadcast at the Biltmore, originally uploaded by Mister Wind-Up Bird.

It’s been a beautiful fall weekend here in Van, but I’ve mostly been home with an annoying rhinovirus. However, I did get out to see Broadcast at the Biltmore, and being stuck on the sofa in a Neo Citran haze has been a good excuse to spend hours reading TV Tropes (which may be an even more powerful timesuck than Wikipedia). Meanwhile, my parents are at this very moment in the process of purchasing a pretty spiffy retirement home on Vancouver Island, the lovely Janelle comes to visit in just 24 days, my apartment is the cleanest its been in weeks (months?) and I have some time to ramble on the ol’ Haiku Factory.

So, first up, I think I’m going to make this blog a once-a-month kind of deal, probably until I finish my thesis. I’m thinking that on or around the first of each month, I’ll post a longish update like this one. At the same time, I’m going to try to put more Eric (my links, photos, etc.) into the sidebar. Unfortunately, the volatile combination of WordPress plugins and my hosting company seems to be so fragile that at least half of the plugins I’ve tested seem to cause the dreaded “500 Internal Server Error.” So we’ll see how that works out. Hopefully my future posts will have go beyond the self-involved meandering of this one, but give me a break, I’m siffly and whiny today, and my throat hurts.

Ironically, though, the main reason I’m restricting my blogging is my writing. I’m doing a lot of writing these days — not only my thesis and the occasional paper, but I’m also working on a book with my supervisor, and I may soon be working on a special soopersekrit project that I can’t tell you about right now. The thing about all these projects is that they have a finite end in the next several months, so if I have the writing impulse on a Sunday afternoon, or late at night some evening, I feel like I should be working on those. Now that the end of grad school is finally in sight, spending a few hours writing in the middle of the night means my book or my thesis will be finished all that much earlier, right?

The flipside of this is that I’ve been finding myself up at 3AM editing papers and writing code and sleeping ’til noon. It’s not because I’m really pushing myself all that hard, it’s more that I know how lazy, unfocussed and unmotivated I can be, so when I don’t feel that way, I want to take full advantage of my finicky brain. Oh brain, why must we always be at odds?

Well, actually, I’m not sure that’s really a problem. While operating on a noon-to-4AM schedule puts me at odds with normal people, I kind of do like working at night. I’m definitely more creative in later in the day — I think pretty much every good idea I’ve ever had came to me after 8PM. And what’s more, I kind of like that I’m in a position where it’s an option. I’ll admit to a holding a certain nerdily romantic view of being awake in the wee hours, working on a PhD thesis in an empty lab or annotating papers in a 24-hour coffee shop. It’s like I’m some kind of cool Bohemian, or something. Mainstream society be damned, I’m a Creative!