Saturday night, and as the sound of the city carousing itself into a state of drunken oblivion drifts through my open window, I’m pondering an equally out-of-my-head concept. I’m thinking of doing something that I haven’t really had cause to do since I was a student — a working all-nighter.
What’s happened is this. I have something to do for work, which due to technical incompetence on the part of my desktop computer, a looming deadline and not enough hours in the week, will have to be carried out at home in my own time. But that’s not all. There’s also the website-updating favour (I know, I know, I’m too nice) that I’ve been promising a good friend now for about two months, and which also has a deadline far too close for comfort — next Friday.
And as I suggested in the previous post, there are simply not enough hours in my life at the moment.
So there you are. It’s back to the glorious student days of staying up all night — usually on a diet of toast with Marmite, plus incredibly strong black coffee — simply in order to get the bloody work done. This time, of course, it’s not essays about Russian Constructivist Theatre or the historical role of the phallus in drama (oh, how I wish it was), but rather lots and lots of image-grabbing from DVDs, Photoshopping, and building multiple web pages.
Oh, and there’s also the small matter that I’m older and (apparently) wiser, and I know that this is a ridiculously daft idea because I really do need my sleep. Fortunately, however, I’m not listening to the oft-underused rational part of my brain much at the moment; it tends to go on a long holiday when I’m immersed in the gradual process of going utterly loopy.
Will I do it? Will I just give up and go to bed? Will I fall victim to the curse of watching disastrous Saturday night TV, or to the lure of the bottle of whisky standing in a corner of my balcony? Or will I just engage in a mindlessly repetitive task because I don’t want to be doing what I should be doing (as in the slightly worrying couple of hours I spent classifying tracks in iTunes last night. Why? Because I could. Because they were there. Because I am mildly obsessive and extremely anally retentive).
Who knows? The answers may be forthcoming, they may not. I’ll do the best I can to keep you informed, however, because I’m very skilled at pretending that you’re interested in the minutiae of my occasionally somewhat strange life.
7.46pm update: But before I commence with working through the night, I need to go shopping. Night shopping. Ooh. How exciting. And there’s that new Tesco superstore which has just opened across the road. I haven’t been there yet. How exciting x2. This is thrilling, edge of the seat stuff. I might linger knowingly in the fresh fruit and vegetables section. Try holding me back. Try stopping me from shopping. No, you can’t, can you?
9.02pm update: Tesco was unimaginably thrilling, in that it suddenly reminded me why I tend to order shopping online these days — because I hate supermarkets. However, the retail expedition has helped me in my quest for an all-night workathon thanks to one of my purchases; yes, it seems that Tesco sells an own brand version of Red Bull in a bottle. Of course, I’m very well aware this strangely-coloured liquid is evil, evil, evil — but needs must.
Anyway, it’s now decision time — do I start the tasks for my friend first (more pleasurable because at least it’s a favour that I’m doing because I’m so thoroughly nice), the tasks for work (with the huge risk of falling asleep while watching DVDs in order to grab images), or do I give up and go and see what’s on telly? Hmm.
More later — if I manage to stay awake (doubtful).
11.44pm update: Swear violently at computer. Swear violently at DVD. Swear violently at Photoshop. Swear violently at trying to grab images from DVD. Swear violently at everything. Drink coffee. Gah. Console myself with thought that all of what I’m doing would have taken ten times longer with my old desktop PC as opposed to my fantastic new whizzy laptop. Small mercies. God, I’m tired.
3.49am update: The good news is that I’m still here. The bad news is that the last two hours have been spent comforting a rather needy friend on the other side of the Atlantic via IM. I know I should have said that I was rather busy, but I have a terrible difficulty turning down needy friends. My only consolation is that as said needy friend initially called me up on the phone to ask if I could log on to chat, I would have been awake now anyway. My agenda for tonight is really not going to plan.
I’ve suddenly realised how extraordinarily dull this rather, um, time-sensitive entry is going to be to read in the future. Sorry.
6.09am update: Sleep? Sleep is for wimps. Who needs it? It’s gone six o’clock in the morning and I’m fine. Fucking fine, actually. Really. Fucking. Fine. Yes, I’ve got stinging eyes and RSI, but apart from that, nothing. However, I do need to offer apologies to my friend, because I’m doing the ‘work’ stuff first. While this makes me feel very practical, it also makes me feel very guilty and unfaithful. Then again, I haven’t slept since 8.00am yesterday morning, so what do I know?
I might have some (more) coffee for breakfast soon. Woo, rock ‘n’ roll. Life on the edge. Hurrah. Pass the ibuprofen.
8.41am update: I have a sudden overwhelming urge to dig out Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground and fall languidly into bed as it plays on a constant loop. But I can’t, and I won’t.
Spotting that it was a bright, sunny, slightly chilly autumn morning, I decided to wake myself up with a quick walk around the block. Unfortunately, most of the quick walk involved me screwing up my eyes and inwardly screaming, “The sun! The sun! Make it stop!”
Progress throughout the night has been … determinedly average. It would have been better had it not been for that desperately needy friend in New York and a jar of very insipid instant coffee. So I think I’ll be working for most of today too, before collapsing into a deep sleep — or just collapsing — at some point this evening.
But here endeth the most tediously self-centred blog post ever. What have I learnt from my first working all-nighter in years? Anything? Well, yes. I’ve learnt that I’m too old for this, and that my desk chair is really not very comfortable at all. Good morning, world.