Do not go gentle into that good night.

(Oh, don't I wish?)

Thursday, January 21, 1999
To Dream the Impossible Dream...

I need more sleep.

My sleeping cycle has been even crazier than usual, lately. It's 8 AM as I type this, which is about when I went to bed at times earlier this week. That's not an option today, though. I actually have a job today, filling in for a friend of a friend to make sure that everything stays kosher at a Chinese restaurant. This means that I have to be there at the ungodly hour of 11 AM.

It's just as well, I suppose. College starts in a week, and I need to ease myself into a more normal schedule, as, with grave misgivings, I signed up for one course at 11 AM, twice a week. I've never taken a class that early before; my previous record was noon, and that didn't go very well. Most of my classes have been at the far more civilized time of 6:30 PM, which is when I'm functioning best.

However, the 11 AM class -- an honors seminar in English, on "Ideology and the Power of Culture" -- is pretty much the course of my dreams, and it's not likely to be offered again while I'm there, so it looks like I'm going for it. None of my courses are set in stone yet, though; I'm still scrambling for a steady job, and if I have to rearrange my entire class schedule to get one, I'm going to do so.

Anyway, I fell asleep around 2 AM, and woke up about 6:30. Great. It's a good thing that my job doesn't actually involve doing much. Or perhaps not; I will need to stay conscious, and if I'm not active, that may be tougher to manage. I'm used to flaky sleep patterns, though, so I'll manage.

In general, I need eight hours of sleep. I can get by on six, but my body will ultimately make me catch up on the lost time. This probably wouldn't be a problem if I could go to sleep on demand, but I can't. Sleeping has never come easily for me. Over the years, I've resigned myself to going with the flow, not trying to force myself to sleep when my body isn't ready to do so -- 'cause it won't help, anyway -- and recognizing when windows of opportunity show up, and going straight to bed then.

Those windows of opportunity only last about 30 minutes, maybe 60, so that's important. After then, I catch a second wind, and while I'm still tired, I can't actually sleep for another couple of hours. A phone call coming in just when I've gone to bed can wreck my entire night.

On the bright side, my insomnia's gotten more managable over the years, partially because I'm more used to it -- and, indeed, have adjusted the rest of my life around it -- and partially because, well, it just has. The worst point was in high school, when a typical night involved Yours Truly tossing and turning in bed for six hours. And then had all sorts of problems because I was never in school on time. Not fun.

Yesterday's entry on schools and testing kind of spun out of control, didn't it? Well, I did say I was in beta-testing just now. I think the problem was that I had too much to say, and I ended up trying to cover everything... so I ended up not really covering anything.

I'm not going to take it on again today. I'm sure the subject will come up again down the line, and I'll try to do it better at that point. I have to leave myself something to fill the next few years of this, after all.

I'd promised myself that I wasn't going to discuss the workings of this journal again this week, but I have a decision to make, and I figure I ought to throw it out to you.

Up until now, I've been keeping all of the individual entries on my site as separate files. In addition, I've had one larger file containing all of the entries from this month. (That file looks a bit weird right now, with all the slight changes in format every day, but today's layout will probably hold me for a bit. And, as of February, I don't expect to change my overall design in mid-month again.) What I had planned to do might best be described as Mary Anne's method, with a twist of Kymm: I was going to keep the most recent five entries up as separate files, and let the month-at-a-time files handle the older ones.

This, it seemed to me, would be the ideal solution for all involved. Regular readers would be able to get to the latest entries without having to wait for the entire month to load. More occasional readers, or those catching up on the whole thing from the beginning, would be able to read through all the older entries without having to navigate through a whole stack of little files. And my file space would be neater, because I wouldn't have scores of little files cluttering up my one directory.

Those last three words matter. Internet Trash provides a pretty good service, but, alas, they don't allow subdirectories. If they did, I wouldn't mind keeping all of the individual entries around, packing each month into its own little area. But I'm not happy about having a site based on so many files in one directory. It may not make any real difference, but it still bothers me.

Anyway, I was all set to go that route, but then I heard from my first-ever correspondant, who said that she preferred having separate files for all of the entries. Not only does she prefer reading them that way, but she pointed out that entries would be pretty hard to link to otherwise.

Linking is the one thing I hadn't considered. And it's something I should consider, I think, because linking is one of the nice things about the Web; the way connections are formed all over the place, bringing all sorts of sites together. One thing is certain; I have to modify my monthly files to provide labels for each individual entry, in a consistent format. That will be put in place later on tonight. But beyond that... I'm not sure, now.

According to my original plan, tomorrow would be the day I take down my first entry's individual file, leaving only the copy in the monthly one. If anybody has any particular thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them. Thanks.