(While I’m in San Francisco without a secure connection to the Internet, I shall be posting sneakily via my flickr feed.)
Man alive. You quickly forget how much you’re being affected by a lack of sleep!
My hard drive crashed on Monday, which means that (truly) the little free time I’ve had this week has been devoted to rebuilding Thursday’s presentations and re-doing other projects that were due this week.
There simply is no free time during a week like this. I’m booked for just about every minute of the show. That’s why I busted my butt last week: to make sure that the only thing I’d have to do during my time in San Francisco was get to my appointments on time, steal enough time to write two or three pieces plus a Macworld-related Sun-Times column…and get five to seven hours of SLEEP every night!
The sleep thing hasn’t really been happening. Suffice to say that I’ve spent a lot of my time seeing invisible elves.
Wednesday night was particularly harrowing. A million little things still needed to be tweaked and fixed for my presentations. I had to cancel my plans at the Ministry of Nightlife. On the schedule: terrific party at The Thirsty Bear, a joint near Moscone with very tasty microbrews (it’s a rare thing when I’m handed a pint of beer and enjoy it enough to actually finish it) followed by the usual fab Wednesday night band party, where I’d promised to sing two numbers.
I was a bit pouty about that, so to keep the peace I allowed myself to keep my dinner plans with a bunch of friends. I’m glad I did: it was two or three hours of great company and fine Sicilian cuisine. But my work was waiting for me back in my Japantown hacienda.
I can’t really say how much sleep I got that night. I didn’t dare engage in that risky bedroom behavior known as “turning out the lights and going to sleep.” I was working in bed and whenever I felt like I was truly losing my ability to focus, I’d set a half-hour countdown alarm on my iPhone and lean back and close my eyes.
By the time I felt like I was done and could truly hit the sack…well, I needed to wake up in an hour. Call it 2 hours of sleep total. Even then, the bigger of the two presentations wasn’t finished. It’s one of the week’s two “featured” events: a sort-of-quiz show that I wrote. There were thirty questions in the thing. I could remember half of them off the top of my head.
Through a combination of reflexology, hypnosis, and sense memory, I was able to recall another half-dozen. But I left the hotel and headed for Moscone with a need to think of a bunch of new question that would work in the larger scheme of things.
The good news is that both of my presentations worked out great. I was worried about the game show because so much of it was out of my control; I’d truly set it up so that the real entertainment value would come through interaction with the audience. But I had a great crowd full of people who had come to have a good time, and I’m happy with the results.
I hope the organizers ask me to do it again next year, and if they do, I’m going to tweak some things (theater is theater; there are things you’ll never learn until you put it in front of a live audience) but on the whole, I’m willing to put this one in the Win column.
Rushed from that event to Macworld magazine’s podcasting studio to record a 40 minute podcast, then rushed from there to another stage to take part in another hourlong talk. Then it was the end of the day and I went to the Podcasters’ Meetup, where I listened to Leo Laporte and Dave Hamilton and a half-dozen others up on stage, resolutely attempted to keep my eyes open, and ultimately decided that 7 PM was way past my deadline.
Made a quick stop in the neighborhood to stock up on essential supplies (Coke and comic books). Got back to the Miyako at 8 and stayed awake just long enough to get out of my good suit.
So, getting back to my opening point: I have had about 11 hours of sleep and for the first time since Monday morning, I feel truly alert and alive…because Thursday was the first night that I didn’t have to pull a punitive all-nighter!
Prolly going to be a rather intense day. My 10-to-6’s this week have been packed with meetings, briefings, and appearances and I’ve barely had any time to check out the show floor. So the goal for today is to walk and talk and look and demo.
So far, the coolest thing I’ve seen has been a little flexible tripod with a suction cup on the end that can hold your iPod. Good, good; every time I travel this thing will definitely be in my bag but I think I need to top this today.