The Ravel’d Sleave

I never get enough sleep. I get up between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., get to PubSub’s Lower Manhattan nerve center at about 10, toil at the “bleeding edge” of Internet technology until 7 p.m. or so, then head home.

There are things to do in the evening. Dinner must be prepared and consumed. Often I will train a bit, and one night a week I teach class. There are books clamoring for my attention. My guitar, a winsome Taylor 310, beckons. There are chess games at RedHotPawn to which attention must be paid. Of course, as a husband and father, I spend time with Nina and Nick (and Chloë, when she is home from college). Most of the time there are other lingering details: mail and telephone calls to answer, or little chores to do. Then there are blogs to be read, upon which perhaps to leave pithy and thought-provoking comments. Finally, I must confect the day’s post for waka waka waka.

The result of all of this is that I never seem to retire before 1:30 or 2 a.m., which means that I am usually getting six hours of sleep at best, and often less. I don’t like that at all; I know I’d be sharper if I slept more. But given all these worthwhile and productive occupations, what am I going to throw overboard? The world is just too interesting, and life is too short as it is.

I’ll just have to comfort myself with the old proverb:

“Six hours’ sleep for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool.”


  1. Jon says


    You just have look for the upside to things. If you slept more, you would risk depriving the world of all the great work you do at PubSub, your often brilliant blog postings, or all the reading you do to be able to have the great conversations and knowledge of random facts that always keep me on my toes.

    Get some rest buddy, but not too much!


    Posted January 7, 2006 at 8:01 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Why thank you, Jon! What a nice surprise to have you drop by.

    See you Monday.

    Posted January 7, 2006 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
  3. Duncan says

    And why, one wonders, is Macbeth unable to sleep? [cut to the end of the act 1]:

    Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
    That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

    I’ll be keeping my distance, thanks.

    Posted January 7, 2006 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Hey, don’t look at me! Talk to my dad. Though I suppose I can’t complain about the way things turn out.

    Posted January 7, 2006 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
  5. eugene says

    As a master of analogical reasoning, I wonder any correlation between intelligence and biorhythm. It looks like all masterminds in the world tends to be night persons. I wonder anyone took this seriously and tried to “measure” it. (I know Stephen Jay Gould will roll in his grave and scolded me to read his book). Three masterminds who are night persons : William Jefferson Clinton, Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, Mao Zedong.

    Posted January 8, 2006 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Hi Eugene,

    I don’t imagine for a moment that I qualify as a “mastermind”, but a nocturnal life makes simple sense for those who do – the wee hours are often the only time you can think in peace.

    Posted January 8, 2006 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

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