I’m trying to burn all my CDs before I leave for Microsoft so I can put them on my mp3 player. So whenever I’m home I’m constantly shuffling CDs in and out of my laptop. I have it start playing the CD while it’s ripping so that when the music stops I know to switch to the next CD. It’s actually been kinda fun to alphabetically sample stuff. Anyway, I’m only on M now and there’s no way I’m going to finish.

Bill and I submitted a paper on Wednesday. We had been working probably 15 hours a day for the previous three weeks. Our chance of acceptance is very low, and it was weird to spend so much time on something that will most likely be a lost cause. Actually, I found it very easy to get bitter, as our ideas and results are really quite good, but unconventional (we submitted a PL-influenced paper to a systems conference). We could basically envision the program committee “not getting it”, which of course would be supremely irritating.

Then it occurred to me that this bitter no-one-understands viewpoint is also the one that most deranged prophets must take as well. I guess I know where I stand, then :).

Anyway, it’s all over and I’m just glad to have my life back for a while.

Blargh. To tell you the truth, I don’t really feel like writing this LJ entry. Maybe I’ll write more later.

Oh yeah, here’s something random that I promised certain people (Naveen) I’d write about, even though he’s going to make fun of me for doing so. Have you ever fallen asleep on one of your arms so that when you get up, it’s asleep too, and basically immobile for a minute or so? Maybe you’ve never experienced this before; let me assure you that it’s a weird feeling.

Sometimes I get to have even more fun: I wake up somehow lying on both of my arms. I don’t even know how this is physically possible, but it happens, and it’s really great because I derive so much pleasure from trying to sit up with my arms hanging like deadweights. It’s a good ab workout. My ecstasy is occasionally heightened by the challenge of having to turn off the blaring alarm that woke me up in the first place — without the use of my arms. (It’s even better when the alarm is my cell phone, which it is these days, and I have to somehow open it up and push a tiny button, or just wait, head ringing, until my arms wake up.)

There’s nothing better than sharing this experience with a good friend, too. I vividly remember one morning back in college when James and I were roommates. Back then, my alarm was a clock that emitted the most monstrously hideous sound, a kind of braying howl that you could imagine a hellhound making if all three of its heads had contracted laryngitis. Apparently, I needed that kind of motivation to get up during parts of college.

Anyway. So morning came, and the alarm started emitting its banshee wail. I snapped into consciousness, only to find that both my arms were asleep and lying useless below me. I felt some tingling in my fingertips, like some kind of phantom phantom-limb syndrome, but that’s about it. If I could only have gotten up, I’d probably have tried to smash my forehead into the snooze button, but I couldn’t even do that. So I just lay there, moaning.

James, who’s a slightly heavier sleeper, and who had no intention of actually getting up this early (I’m usually good about turning off my alarm before it disturbs him up), finally woke up to this chorus:
the alarm: BRAAAAAAAAAAAA! BRAAAAAAAAAAAA!
me: ughhghghghhg. ughghhghgg. godddddd. ugghhghghghgh.

As you can imagine, he had to bail me out by staggering across the room to silence Cerberus. Amazingly, he did this in good humor. Yeah, James was a good roommate.

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5 Responses to

  1. ratatosksv says:

    I had a problem for a while where I would wake up in the middle of the night and simply not be able to feel my arm. I would put it up over my head before I fell asleep, and during that time, it would become completely numb. Then, it would be like 3 am and I would freak out because my brain thought my arm wasn’t there… I’d grab it and pull it back down to my side and then slap it and pinch it until I had feeling again. One time it took nearly 5 minutes before I could move it — that was kind of scary.

  2. walther says:

    yeah, that arm thing happened to me once, about a year ago. i couldn’t see my arm when i woke up, and i initially seriously thought that it had fallen off (or died?) in my sleep. very disconcerting and odd. it’s good to know it happens to other people too.

  3. ccho says:

    Contracting laryngitis would be good wouldn’t it? Since they could probably not make any sound… I remember William had a pretty loud alarm clock and James always complained about mine freshman year. What annoyed me the most was people using the intercom right outside our window for extended periods of time early morning.

    I get that experience with my arms frequently. Usually rubbing it helps the circulation come back pretty quickly. It must be unhealthy though… what would happen over an extended period of time? Any nerve cell death?

    • aj says:

      Yeah I don’t know… I’d hope that if my arms fell asleep I’d wake up, but obviously since it takes an alarm to clue me in, my arms have probably been asleep for quite a while.

      I was told that “sleep” is not caused by lack of blood flow, but by a pinched nerve or something, so perhaps it’s not so dangerous….

  4. One of my housemates

    had both his legs fall asleep whilst he was sitting on the commode. Fell over when he tried to stand up.