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It’s not quite 6 am.

The night before last I slept like a baby: dead to the world about 15 minutes after my head hit the pillow, blearily awake only when the alarm went off 7 hours later. Beautiful stuff, especially for an intermittent insomniac. Last night, not so much. Asleep about 2 hours after my head hit the pillow -repeatedly- then intermittently awake every 45 minutes or so, and finally, irrevocably awake at around 4:15 am, after which I lay there thrashing from one side to the other, hoping against hope that I’d pass out. No such luck: it’s almost 6 now, I’m on cup ‘o coffee number two, and I can say with no reservation whatsoever that one should never attempt a bikini wax on less than 4 hours of sleep, particularly if one is only doing it out of boredom and mild curiosity.  In a word, ow.

I blame Connie Willis for this.

Not personally, of course.  She’s never done anything to me. I’ve never met her. I think she lives on the other side of the country. It’s my fault for having managed not to read anything of hers until now: I don’t really know why I didn’t, as I certainly knew there were books of hers to be read – it’s kind of hard not to be aware of a ten-time Hugo winner once you really get into SF/F – but I didn’t. And now I have: I picked up Lincoln’s Dreams at afore-mentioned 200-feet-away public library, and started and finished it last night, and then put head to pillow, and the rest you know.

Haunting book. Instantly likeable characters, incredibly out-there, eerie, riveting plot, and a whole slew of history too. The sense of impending doom just got stronger until I was sure how it was going to end but not yet why: it wasn’t bloody or violent, but it kept me up most of the damn night nonetheless.  How I managed not to read anything by this woman until  I was almost 30 is completely beyond me. I’m definitely reading more, though I think I’ll wait until I don’t need to be at work by 8:30 am before I pick anything else up.

In other news, I wandered over to the other library within walking distance – one I can’t believe I forgot about – and managed to find some truly fabulous books for research. Working for a college has it’s perks, definitely.  And walking in to a college library for books instead of work-related stuff was such a weirdly nostalgic experience: I wanted to wander around in there for hours, haunting the reference section, meandering through shelves and snatching anything that caught my eye, which is more or less how I came up with term papers back in the day. When the lady who checked me out told me I had to bring my four eventual picks back in six months I grinned like a loon and probably had her reaching for the mace. Now I have three lovely books of recent cultural analysis and one from 1875 that has far more interesting catalogues of superstitions and lore, oh my, oh my.

Hmmm. Possibly Connie Willis isn’t to blame for my sleepless night. Even if I weren’t geek enough to be just that thrilled about pretty new books (and I am, believe me, I am), pretending to be a college student for a single lunch hour may have been enough to alter my sleeping habits for  the next 4 nights or so.

Her Dogginess has rearranged herself directly behind my chair, as she somehow always does when I’m at this desk for more than five minutes. One day I’m going to roll over some undefended part of her by accident, and I tell her this daily, but she has that belief in her own immunity to harm that belongs to all adolescents and spoiled pets, and only groans disparagingly in reply. She stared at me in utter disbelief when I turned on the coffee maker at 5:15 am, and spent several minutes making the “rawrrrrrrarrooooawr” noise that is her way of telling me how crazy she thinks I am.

She can sleep at day care later today, while I try to tie up every loose end at work and test database changes. She is sleeping now.  I, on the other hand, am on cup number three, and should probably shut up now.