Tiring on all cylinders

It hasn’t exactly been the most sleep-filled of weeks. I’ve been doing out-of-hours support for work, which is kinda like being a doctor on call, except without the easy access to pharmaceuticals. I have been from it’s ravell’d sleeve untimely ripp’d no fewer than six times this week, to the point where I no longer give a damn about how seriously I misquote Macbeth. The worst was Monday night, on which I said “Hello!” to Mr.Pager no fewer than three times: 03:55, 05:58, and 06:36. Or rather, “Hello!”, “Yes?” and “What the fuck is it now?”, respectively. On the plus side, it does give you a good excuse for staring blankly at your screen.

Things weren’t helped by the severe lack of sleep over the weekend, though this was somewhat more self-inflicted since I was up in Birmingham, at Aya-Next, a Japanese animation convention. I was on the committee, but had adopted the cunning plan of volunteering to edit the conbook, in the hope that, because I’d done all my work before the convention, I’d be able to sit back and enjoy the event. Not quite the case: I learned that “sitting back and enjoying the event” rapidly led to “being given something to do”. I’ve helped at conventions before, but purely as a volunteer, with the ability to say no, but being on the committee, you can’t really do this. There is a LOT of work behind the scenes and I now have a far greater appreciation of those involved…albeit largely of their rank stupidity in agreeing to do it in the first place!

Communication over the weekend was largely by walkie-talkie and earpiece, which led to mild schizophrenia. You’d be talking to someone, and suddenly an entirely separate conversation would start in your ear; you’d try desperately to pay attention to both, but after about ten second, your brain would start frying in its own juices. Had a similar experience visiting Chris in Arizona, when her two kids were both talking to me at the same time, about totally different subjects. After she noticed my bewildered expression and rescued me, I asked her how she’d coped for all these years: “Oh, I just ignore them,” she cheerfully admitted. Dead easy, this parenting lark.

Back at the convention, I still had a grand time. Spent most of Friday on the registration desk, and much of Saturday on the bring-and-buy stall, an opportunity to swap your useless junk for somebody else’s (and flog a few non-useless TCs into the bargain, in my case!). I then girded my loins for Saturday night, the infamous TC live-action all-nighter, at which I show a mix of HK and Japanese stuff, including The Story of Ricky, The Ebola Syndrome and chunks of women’s wrestling. This is really just an excuse to watch stuff I like, video projected onto a nice big screen, but there always seems to be (this must be the seventh or eighth time I’ve done it) enough depraved individuals out there to keep me company.

Sunday was subdued, for some reason probably connected having been up for 32 hours straight by the closing ceremony. But I wasn’t finished yet: this parsimonious Scot could only get a cheap rail-ticket by catching the late train back to London. Mind you, since that meant I ended up having to get a taxi, I’d probably have been better off not bothering! I got home at 1 a.m. — ready and refreshed for a week at work? I think not. I’d like to think that this weekend will largely be spent making up for lost R.E.M. time, but…the London Film Festival beckons. Never mind, “no rest for the wicked”, I’m just too tired to be wicked!