Saturday, March 19, 2011

Confessions of a Hardcore Nightowl

I am, by nature, nocturnal. I usually only see morning if I've stayed up all night. It's not that I go out drinking and carousing until five in the morning. In fact, I'm usually curled up in bed surfing the internet by midnight. It's just that when it comes to reading, writing, homework, etc., I work better after the sun's gone down. Being a grad student as well as an evening supervisor has only aided and abetted this trait. My classes and my shifts are all at night, leaving me free to sleep late.

This week has cemented what I already knew: I can't function earlier than noon. It's spring break at my college and most people decided to take off so I grabbed a bunch of extra shifts. The catch, however, is that the library closes early this week so all of those shifts started at either 9 am or 11 am. Neither of these times is good for me but I needed the money so I went with it.

It's been six days now and I am so dead tired that I'm practically useless. There's a dull ache in my head that hasn't gone away all week from lack of sleep and the drastic change in my schedule. I've been cranky and snappish for the last few days and am generally not pleasant to be around. Luckily for me, things go back to normal starting tomorrow. I get to sleep in for the first time all week. Even though this means that I have to go back to my mind-numbing classes, it'll be a relief to be back into my usual rhythm.

I'm worried though about what all of this is going to mean for me when I get out into the real world. I'm leaving my master's program at the end of this semester, which means no more loans. If I want to continue paying bills and eating food, I need to get an additional job which will pay me a decent wage. There are very few jobs I can think of that fit these qualifications and will still allow me to go on being a night person. The ones I can think of off the top of my head either involve factories or trips to the police station.

This suggests that I'm going to have overhaul my life in order to conform to society's notion that everyone should work early in the day and be able to do differential calculus at seven am. I'm not looking forward to this. Therefore, I am sending out a plea into the universe: anyone out there know of any respectable and well-paying jobs that offer hours for people who don't fit the stereotypical circadian rhythm?



  1. The real world? What is the "real world" might I ask? I do believe your reply could tell me, maybe even, your blood type. What do you think about maybe making a personal blog? You seem to have more than just books on your mind. I would read that one (the personal) too if it would be all right.

  2. And I would very much like to know why you have my book blog on your list but you have failed to follow it!!! Jk. Thanks.

  3. Hey Nonners! I haven't seen you here in a while. I thought maybe you'd fallen off the earth. :)

    I've thought about a personal blog, but I'm such a screwy and confusing person that I'd probably drop followers like flies. Besides, I like the fact that this blog allows me to focus my attention away from all of my inherent issues. People can tease out details of my life from between the lines of what I write on this blog. It's kind of like a person puzzle.

    And I *am* following your blog. I'm the picture of books that says Gabriel James. I'm just bad at commenting. :)

    I'll try to be better; I promise.

  4. Well thanks! I didn't know I was expected. Been busy.

    Ah yes...there you are! lol. oops. You totally danced around my question by-the-way.


    Thats fine.

    I get it.

    Well, books and personal life posts could get confusing for publishers. Like if you ever wanted to get free books to review. Not that there's a standard for book blogs, it's just that I have really seen a book blogger who writes personal posts along with their book posts AND review for publishers...Oh wait. I think I saw somewhere on your blog where you said you weren't doing that. Right?

  5. For the time being I have no real desire to review for publishers. My schedule is pretty hectic and I'd feel bad if I didn't have the time to review a book that someone had sent to me. Once I'm through with this program and have a steady second job, I may consider it.

    A lot of the books I'll be reading for this blog are also not new. I don't want to limit myself to recently published works when there are so many great novels and non-fiction books out there that are decades (or more) old that I haven't read.

    And which question was that? The one about the real world? The real world is a horrific waking nightmare that every college students dreads having. Eventually we all have to face it, but most of us like to push the snooze button on it for as long as possible. :)

  6. Hmn...yes. I most definitely know your blood type now.

  7. *I'm* not even sure what my blood type is. LOL

    I'm also not sure what you mean by that. In need of a transfusion? Or just secretly a vampire who's very picky?

  8. Ugh. Please don't tell me you actually read all those silly vampire books? The only "vampire-ish" book I've read was Dracula (the classic, not all this new, "I love you blood thirst monster!" junk). It was very good. And I simply meant, that the question is actually so personal to each person, whether you think so or not. Because how you view the "real world" defines most of your character. And so it should, you live in it don't you? Even those "spiritual people" have an opinion of the "real world".

    And neither do I so worries.

  9. That makes much more sense now. And I actually really like what you said about it. I've been called a pessimist by several people, but I'm really, when you get down to it, a realist. It's just that people don't like to think of it that way.

    As for vampires: no. Just no. I was forced by a friend (and by forced, I mean she paid for my ticket so I had to go) to watch the first Twilight film. That was enough to turn me off of the whole thing.

    When I was in high school (back when the only vampire novels were written by Anne Rice), I was intrigued by the idea of them and their lore, but only because most cultures have a vampire mythos attached to them. When this whole pop culture phenomenon started, I turned my back on them and haven't looked back since.

    I've read Dracula and I didn't really like it. I don't know if it was the fact that it was written as a series of letters or if it was just that Stoker's writing style irked me.

    One thing that I don't understand is why so many book bloggers are writing about the myriad crap vampire novels that have come out in the last five years. Do they really believe that these books are quality literature? Or is it just that they've gotten bitten (pun intended) by some sort of bad novel bug that makes them so addicted to them?

    I've probably pissed some people off but I really don't care. I've had it up to here with all of these novels that are just clones of each other. I wish people would start reading (and writing) real books again. I think I'll ask Santa for that this Christmas. LOL

  10. You. Are. Corny. Lol. But that's okay. :]

    Anywho, in my opinion, people are obsessed with anything that doesn't look like their day-to-day lifestyle and routine. It is also in my opinion that this is because those said "people" are not satisfied with their reality. They feel something is missing and so go looking for something (in this case: trash) to fill the "hole" if you will. This is so very sad. Especially because everyone is susceptible to it. Losing track of reality can be so very dangerous.

    And yes, you pissed off just about 9/10 of our country. (Congratulations. That's a lot.)


  11. I feel accomplished. That's a pretty impressive feat I just pulled off. :)

    And, yeah, I tend to be corny. I can get away with it though because I'm so darn charming and likeable. LOL

    I totally agree with you. I, too, use fiction as a way to escape the everyday, but I prefer to escape into something worth reading. There are lots of alternatives to the things people consider to be worth their time. Instead of bad vampire novels, they could read good 18th century Gothic literature. Instead of trashy romances, they could pick up a Jane Austen novel.

    I understand that everyone is different and that they have different preferences but I also feel that the rash of poorly-written and poorly-edited generic novels that have been plaguing our shelves for the last few decades are an indication that we as a nation are getting dumber and more seeped in consumerist culture.

  12. Yes. I agree. I hope to remedy this "illness" so to speak, that our country is dying of.

    By teaching!

    Go me.

    I will now accept my diamond studded crown that makes my head feel like it needs to tip one way so that it might not topple to the floor.

    Thank you my fans. Yes. *wave and smile* We will feed the hungry!

    Okay, back on track. Charming and likable huh?

    I don't see it...

  13. Hahaha! I guess maybe that personal blog you want me to write would give you a better sense of my charm and my likeability (if that's even a word).

    I thought I wanted to teach, but I don't. Instead, I'll just write really good novels that won't make people into mindless zombies. We each have our own part to play.

  14. Yes. But you don't get a crown :]

  15. That's okay. Instead, I'll get a Pulitzer. :D

  16. True. But...yeah I can't think of anything cooler than that...

  17. Being a self-confessed philistine, I feel qualified to speak on behalf of readers of "trashy" books. :-)

    Many of us are intelligent and well-adjusted people who ae not trying to fill some gaping home in our lives. We just like a bit of brain candy. After a long day at work, we don't feel like delving into a dense literary masterpiece and puzzling out the layers of meaning. We just want something to take us away for a few minutes.

    I occassionaly read vampire books; in fact, I'm working on a post about one now.

    Do I think they are great literature? No.

    Do I think most of them will stand the test of time. No.

    Do I think they are all totally without merit? No.

    Do I think that the YA vampire craze is contributing to the dumbing down of society. YES!

    I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that your issue isn't with a particular book or genre, but rather with the endless juvenile rhapsodizing about some rather lightweight novels.

    There is definitely a lack of discernment in today’s society. People can no longer differentiate between what is entertainment and what is art. When Twilight is put on the same level with Shakespeare, we are in serious danger.

  18. Goddess: You hit the nail on the head. It's not so much those people who pick up the occasion non-substantive book. I, too, have guilty pleasures--mine being The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. It's those people who have developed their entire reading habit (and lives) around what amounts to 1000s of pages of toilet paper. While I consider Derek Landy's books among my favorites, I don't go around saying they are the best books ever written.

    I recently got a GoodReads account and in one of the lists of "The Best Books Ever," Twilight was listed as number one. I made myself read the first book before my friend dragged me to the movie and I was appalled by all the spelling and grammar issues, not to mention the underdeveloped characters, the cliches, the bad dialogue, the creepy stalker vampire who sneaks into the bedroom of his really-not-a-person-because-she-has-no-personality girlfriend. This kind of writing should not be rated higher than things like, I don't know, Pride and Prejudice, Doctor Zhivago...One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

    I apologize if my comments offended any *real* readers out there, the ones whose tastes are more discerning. And I'm sure that many die hard Twilight fans are intelligent people. But I'm sure that many more of them are dumber than toast. It's just that I don't see people getting this obsessed over a novel with such brilliance as Brave New World (even though they should be, given our current state of affairs and our society's slow descent into a similar dystopian age).

    I'm glad that you can see where I'm coming from and I definitely didn't mean to say that people who read vampire fiction are "philistines". But he sparkles. And he's abusive. And she has no identity apart from the person she's dating. And I just can't see that bilge being uttered in the same sentence as Great Expectations.

    Also, I like the phrase "brain candy". I usually use "book crack". I may have to diversify. :)

  19. Twilight is listed as one of the best books ever? Seriously? Well, I suppose if it’s the only book a person has read... :-)

    Twilight is undoubtedly the most divisive book of the last decade. People seem to either love it or hate it. As usual, I’m out of step with everybody else. I see it as neither a great book nor the death knell of literature. To me it was just an average book – quickly read, quickly forgotten.

    If Twilight has any merit, it is that it has helped get people reading. I agree with you that most of these people have chosen to read Twilight clones, but surely a few have gone on to discover a world beyond unrealistic romances with stalker vampires.

    I too am puzzled by the fanatical devotion books like Twilight seem to inspire. To me, it was merely a somewhat pleasant way to pass a snowy afternoon, but to many others, it has become their raison d'être.

    Being a sad little Star Wars geek who has actually engaged in arguments about the morality of using clones to fight a war, I suppose I sort of understand. But the stories I get obsessive about are ones that make me think about philosophical issues.

    I adored The Hunger Games, but I’m annoyed that no one else seemed to get it. Suzanne Collins writes this great dystopian allegory about our culture’s obsession with so-called reality television ... and all people take away from it is the love triangle.

    By the way, I’m Shaz and while I possess few divine qualities, I do enjoy being a “philistine” (which is the name of my book/tv/music blog). It’s much less stressful than trying to pretend I’m an intellectual. :-)

  20. Yes. You are right. I have an issue with the "vampire craze", specifically speaking in Young Adult genre, because it's useless. It does not bring any sort of greater good to anyone. It doesn't works towards anything. Nothing. Paranormal romance has always had bad footing in my opinion. Therefore, it's trash. And I said that through a series of posts before yours. If you were not talking to me...well then. Gabriel. You have the floor.

  21. Hi Nonners

    I hope you don't feel I was attacking you. My intention was to engage in a little good natured debate, not personal abuse.

    While I hesitate to label anything as "trash", I'm certainly not here to defend Twilight. My sole point is that one can read the occassional "toilet paper" book and still have a brain.

  22. Shaz: I'm a bit of a geek myself. I've actually said things like: "This reminds me of something that happened on Stargate" or "If you think about it, maybe the Cylons weren't totally wrong to do what they did to the Colonies." I think, though, that science fiction allows us to view our own world through a different lens in order to illuminate our problems by seeing them acted out in unrealistic situations. Books like Twilight are just fluff.

    Nonners: If you want to play devil's advocate, at least Twilight is opening the floor for debates like this. :)

  23. The devil always has a very interesting point of view doesn't he?

    Awe, Shaz. I'm sorry. No I didn't think you were attacking me. But I don't have a problem with totally disagreeing with people either. I'm quite outspoken. It sometimes gets me in trouble :] Anyway, no that you have explained what you were saying, I understand what you're saying. I'll be nicer. I promise :]

  24. Sooo... I take it when I finally write that weird medieval fantasy novel with sexy vampire hospice workers that.. uh... look I was going to compare it to Twilight, but, I just want to write some good sleazy medieval trash. With vampire hospice workers. Maybe a vampire geriatric social worker... but medieval.

    Love you,

    PS. I swear to god there is a market for this. If I like it, someone else has to.

  25. Emily: If you do end up writing and publishing that book, no matter how long you and I have been friends IRL, I will make no promises to give you a good review. LOL

    I will, however, make a concerted effort to say a few nice things about it in between all the mocking but only because you're like family to me. :)