2004 October 6


Is it insomnia when you're too wound up to sleep, even though it's so late it's early? I've never had trouble with sleeping, but for some reason imagined that insomniacs felt tired but couldn't sleep anyway.

I finally got to sleep something after 5:30 in the morning, and three and a half hours later now I feel tired.

I even was asleep for a while, woke up out of a very vivid dream, and was surprised to discover it was only 2:30 in the morning.

Maybe actually the last time I was at my computer at four thirty A.M. was when I got wrapped up in a computer game and didn't go to bed until dawn. That was at least long enough ago that I was unemployed and had my own place, so nearly a year. But "staying up until dawn even though I meant to go to bed" feels like a very different thing than "went to bed but couldn't get to sleep". The former is an irrational-rebellious reaction I sometimes have to being unhappy about something or other. I'm not sure what *this* was.

While waiting to get sleepy, I finished Pratchett's new one, Going Postal. It's really good -- con man Moist von Lipwig is possibly his most striking character yet. (Though I'd argue that "most striking" is probably not the same thing as "best", which would have to be Samuel Vimes. The best character story for the best character would then probably have to be his best novel, and that would be Night Watch. I think. I used to say Small Gods was his best, on the basis of tautness and elegance of development of theme.)

Monday night I was out at the Lizard Lounge for a free 9th-anniversary show by PAN 9, an artists' collective. I actually went to see Fluttr, but it turned out that they weren't going to start playing until after 11 pm, and that just seemed too late for a school night. So I hung out for a while with Amelia and Sean and Erica and Anne and Anne's man whose name I should know but can't remember, and caught the first few acts. There was an experimental art video, a poetry reading (which didn't entirely suck, but it was not my thing), a standup comic, and maybe something else I'm forgetting, and then they had an intermission at 10:30 and I decided it was time to bail.

Last night was Amy's craft night/open house, which turned into VP debate watching. Good company, but a 90-minute debate is in fact longer than my attention span, at least by the rules of modern political debates, where the object is to see who can look more confident and in control without saying anything you didn't plan on. Actual discussion of issues doesn't really enter into it, and you'll drive yourself crazy if that's what you spend your time looking for. That's for nerds on public radio or political magazines.


For me, insomnia is when it's time to go to sleep, I've been awake long enough that I should be able to get to sleep, but for some reason I'm unable to do so. It can be any reason -- I could be wound up, or thinking about things that bother me, or I just don't feel tired.

I've had a few bouts of it recently; usually I read, write, or surf the net. But it's different from deliberately staying up late to do something, like play computer games or read because you can't put the book down.

Posted by: Michael A. Burstein on October 6, 2004 12:22 PM
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Yes   No   (like the Turing Test, but easier)

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