Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's 5 AM, and I'm Dancing With Myself

People who don't know me very well have at times mistaken me for a proactive and diligent person. I can see how watching the Chinese guy with glasses sitting attentively in lecture third-row-centre could be deceptive that way. However, after scratching the surface of my personality, one of the first things people learn is that I am a notorious procrastinator with a severe case of attention deficit. Of course, making the deadline and doing things right are important to me - but because of my suboptimal disposition, this often involves a great deal of stress and a great deal of time wasted.

So, when it came time to draft up a research abstract for an upcoming conference (abstract is a bit of a misnomer, since it includes figures and references... it bears more similarity to a research poster), I found myself awake at midnight with little more than a title to show for it. It's a little secret of mine that I hit my writing stride around 3 AM, and while the spelling and grammar mistakes might be slightly more frequent, the writing is generally quite passable.

The wee hours of the morning are excellent for writing. People have logged off, you're tired, you're bored, and you'd really really like to go to sleep. It's a great motivator. Of course, even at these unholy hours of the night, I still need a little something to keep me going. In this case, I found myself listening to a selection of songs from the television show Glee.

As it turns out, the upcoming episode of Glee features the first solo by obscure boy-band member turned nerdy cripple Kevin McHale - a cover of Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself. This felt particularly appropriate given the obscure and lonely hour at which I was writing.

But Kevin McHale isn't the first person to cover this particular song. Back in Grade 7, a passingly popular pop music group called the Boomtang Boys was at the zenith of their career and they had produced a version of Dancing With Myself quite different in character. Performed by Kim Esty, the Boomtang Boys version was an upbeat and catchy tune, with vaguely provocative lyrics such that it was banned from airtime in our Visual Arts class. And so, I dusted off ye old Greatest Hits Volume One and let the memories roll.

Of course, when it came to real abstract writing, I wasn't actually "Dancing With Myself." My friends Yee and Brutus kept me company for most of my all-night adventure - Yee making it to about 4 AM before passing out and Brutus braving it out all the way till 5:30 AM when I too surrendered to a single hour of sleep before my seven hours of lecture. What troopers.

2 comments: said...

yup. a true friend stays with his fellow soldier until the very end. I run up the shore with you, gun or not. I can pick off turret gunners with a knife like rambo, no prob.

Joyce said...

Hahaha i only stayed up until 1:30 am... i was extremely tired and incoherent for my presentation today already... *sigh*