Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sit down and shut up

I've decided to start blogging again. My writing skills are atrophying with lack of practice, and I'd better start typing if I'm to be ready for NaNoWriMo in November. More pragmatically, I'll be more accountable to myself if I record the things I've done every day (and I won't feel so bad about not finishing it all because I can at least point to some productivity).

It's looking like an allnighter tonight, which is okay because I've gotten way off track with my sleep schedule lately and want to get myself back to a normal cycle. Currently, I'm going to bed about 6:30am and waking up somewhere around 10. I'm aiming to sleep somewhere around 1am and wake up at 4. The idea is that I'll have a few uninterrupted hours before class in which to do work - I can't be distracted because there'll be nobody there to distract me.

Bad idea? Maybe. Well, probably. We'll see. I took a nice long nap this afternoon instead of working on the ECS textbook (which I should do sometime before Tuesday), so I should be all right.

There was something I read a long time ago about Benjamin Franklin and thirteen virtues that he lived by. The first one is Temperance. "Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation." I have a tendency to take my meals in a bang-bang fashion - it's easy for me to skip meals and then eat a lot. The worst one was my first year of high school, where I just forgot about food for three days (sleeping through breakfast, working through lunch and dinner) and then broke the fast by consuming Kit Kat bars. It's not the healthiest habit in the world to get into, and my friends have been on my case to get some sort of regular mealtimes going. It seems so much more efficient to not eat and then eat a lot - you know, chunk all your food into one gorge every other day - but it really isn't good for me.

Same thing with drinking. I don't do alcohol (that's a discussion we can get into later, but I am nineteen years old and live in the United States) and I no longer do caffiene (I'm hypersensitive), but I do the bang-bang thing with liquids as well, and that's even worse. I go from dehydrated to "Ooh, two gallons of soy milk!" in an evening.

Franklin's second virtue is Silence. "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation." We all know what sort of problems I have with that.

So I've got some things to work on for this week.

This weekend is actually turning out to be marginally productive, despite the huge amounts of fun I've been having. Saturday night was Christie and Alex's double birthday party; we orchestrated it so they planned each other's surprise parties for the same date, and that both plans involved surprising the birthday person in question in the dorms, then heading out for some restaurant in Hahvahd Squahr (Finale and Veggie Planet, though the latter was changed to Crazy Dough when Planet couldn't fit us all). It was beautiful, and everyone had a great time.

(For the record - because I'm sure someone planning a party for me will read this at some point - I don't need large, elaborate parties or expensive presents or anything. Small, simple, just knowing people care - that's more than enough for me. Though food really doesn't hurt, either. But generally speaking, I'd rather have time and thought than coolness and money.)

Tonight I'll be working on a Verilog tutorial. I'm attempting to revise an existing one that someone else wrote; it's very good, but leaves a lot of things out and could explain some stuff more clearly. It's my way of trying to learn Verilog myself. Somehow, before Tuesday morning, I've got to get a CompArch lab done (build a register file in Verilog with my group), write my Matsci lab report and come up with a presentation segment for my team, review the 4th lab assignment for the ECS class I'm TAing so I can hold session later that evening, fine-tune my HFID paper prototype and come up with a protocol for testing it, and figure something out about AnaDig, as I've been sorely ignoring that class for a long time. That doesn't even start in on my HPV duties or my StartingBloc application, studying Mandarin or looking for Away programs in China this summer, doing my social research reading for the PBL survey - my todo.txt list is a little scary, but I'm trying to get through it.

All right. Finishing Verilog tutorial now. No more stalling through blogwriting, Mel - back to work.

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