Posts Tagged ‘dj’

"It's a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed while it's light out."
                                                    -Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Normally, I'm an extremely deep sleeper.  I can (and have) slept through babies crying, toddlers screaming, and even freight trains rumbling past a window while their conductors blew their 100+ decibel horns.  I have to temper this deep sleep activity somewhat when my wife needs me to help in the middle of the night, but given no extenuating circumstances, I sleep like [a log / the dead / insert other inanimate object here].

I've also always been a long sleeper.  Six hours a night will just get me sick if I keep it up longer than a couple days.  Eight is about the minimum I need to stay healthy, but I've been known to sleep 10 or 12 hours at a stretch with no effort.  Combine this with my night-owl personality and you've got a recipe for disaster (or at least missed appointments) if I'm not careful.

Here's an xkcd comic that brought back some fond memories from college:

No, I was never crazy enough to try this kind of schedule.  But probably only because it hadn't been posted to the internet yet.  No, what I did was in some ways better, and in some ways far worse.  I adopted a 36-hour awake, 12-hour asleep schedule.

There were some extenuating circumstances behind this decision – this was my 4th year at UVA, and in addition to classes, I was DJing at the local radio station AND had started working for Gumby's Pizza as a delivery-guy.  A standard shift at Gumby's was 4 PM to about midnight, or 6 PM to 2 AM.  Of course the newly trained DJs at the station usually got the "extra fun" shifts of 2 AM to 6 AM.  So really, what was I supposed to do?  I wasn't about to quit spinning discs or running pies, so I worked out a way to do both…by staying awake.

Once I got the details worked out, my typical weekly schedule looked something like this:

As you can see, I'd normally wake up around 2 or 3 PM, go deliver pizzas until about 2 AM, and them come back to my place to do homework, watch movies, do laundry, or just generally futz around until the sun came back up.  Then I'd head off to classes for the day, work on some homework, and then go take on another delivery shift.  As soon as it finished up, I'd come home and crash from about 2 AM until 2 PM the next afternoon.  Depending on my schedule, I might repeat the cycle, or fit in a shift at the radio station here or there as needed.  As time went on, I was able to take on some of the 4-6 PM or 6-8 PM radio shifts and might forego the second delivery shift in my 36 hour day in lieu of some extra time spent on my engineering courses.

Surprisingly, this whole bizarre sleep schedule went pretty well, overall.  I had a roommate, but I told him not to worry about making noise in the room while I was sleeping, as I knew it wouldn't bother me.  I also tried to take care to not wake him up if I came back and was killing time until classes; I spent a lot of hours working in the computer lab, even though I had a perfectly good computer sitting on my desk.  Really, there was only one drawback to this schedule – one I'm sure the more astute reader may already have noticed – my 12 hour sleep period, running from 2 AM to 2 PM, meant that I slept through part of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This in itself would not have been a problem, if not for the fact that I was still enrolled in college and had a class scheduled during that time!

It wasn't an important class, of course, or I probably would never have been able to keep up this schedule.  If I recall correctly, it was an Astronomy class – either 101 or 102.  From 8:30-10:00, twice a week, a class of around 150 students sat in a big lecture hall and took down notes from a blackboard they could barely see, rehashing material already found in their textbook.  I think this was the only elective I was able to take that 4th year, and I milked it for all it was worth.  Since nobody ever took attendance, I figured all I had to do was read the textbook, participate in the 3 mandatory lab sessions spread through the semester, and take the midterm and final to make a decent passing grade.

One morning I got home around 2:30 AM and said to myself, "Hrm, I know the midterm is coming up soon.  I wonder which day next week it is, and whether I should go to class today to see if they're doing a pre-midterm study session or anything."  I pulled out the class syllabus and noticed, to my surprise, that the midterm was scheduled for that very same morning!  I spent the next 4 hours gulping down a pot of coffee and cramming from the textbook.  I went into the midterm a little jittery, but received my test back the next class period with a big red "93%" scrawled across the front page of the exam.

I think that scare was my wake-up call (pun totally intended) that I couldn't keep up this schedule forever due to the unflexible aspects of my life.  I did maintain it up through most of the remainder of the semester, however, and then went back to a regular 16-hour awake, 8-hour asleep schedule after I graduated.  I knew the job I was starting in August wouldn't let me be that flexible, so I adapted my body back into the "regular" sleep schedule that I've pretty much had to keep up through to present day.

Nowadays, with a three-year-old and an 11-month-old in the house, neither my wife or myself gets enough sleep on a regular basis.  I expect this will continue through until the kids leave the house for college (although later on, I suspect we'll be losing sleep worrying over what they're up to).  That's ok with me, though.  Once you've mastered the 36-hour-awake day, going a little short on bunk-time seems like child's play.

[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #6 / 30]

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   What one year of your life would you like to re-live, if you were given the chance? 

    Submitted by Ross

I actually debated submitting this QotD for a while.  I was sure some people would treat it as a springboard for arguments about the paradox of changing your past and therefore not experiencing your current present.  I was sure many people would respond with some variant of "I wouldn't change a thing".  And I was hoping some people would interpret the question differently and go off on tangents that were both interesting and introspective.  Only time will tell if any of these actually come to pass.

However, the way I wanted to answer this question, if it ever came up, was to focus NOT on re-living a year to change my actions and experiences, but to re-live a year to relish those same actions and experiences.

With this in mind, I considered my Freshman year in high school.  I had just moved to a new city, knowing absolutely nobody in the area.  I tried out for and successfully made the varsity squad of the cross-country running team at the school, and suddenly had friends who were Juniors and Seniors.  I went from a 100 pound weakling to a 145 pound runner and earned three varsity letters for Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track in that first year.  I earned good grades and was introduced to a lot of great literature.

But even though this year shaped me as a teenager, it was only partially responsible for shaping who I am today.  My Senior year in college, I balanced my time between school, friends, delivering pizza, and DJ-ing for a local radio station.  I came to love music more than I ever thought I could, and learned the real pleasure of spending money I had worked my butt off to earn.  I started to realize that priorities were a good thing and that even though I could survive on a 36-hours awake, 12-hours asleep schedule, it wasn't really conducive to an educational environment (or many other environments, for that matter).

Or maybe I'd like to re-live the year I got married.  Wait…wedding planning plus grad school and masters' thesis project…okay, the wedding and honeymoon were great, but I'm not sure I'm willing to re-experience them if it means I have that other stuff to re-do too.

Or the first year after my daughter was born, watching her turn from a small wriggly newborn into a beautiful baby and a happy little girl?  Sounds great, and I would pick it in a pinch, if it didn't come with the 6 months of colic-y crying and the worries about not getting her to sleep in a crib.  No, I think I'll pass on spending nights sleeping on the couch next to the battery-powered baby swing.  I'll save those for this next baby, if they're needed.

It's really hard to pick just one year I'd want to re-live.  I think in the end, I'll have to pick my 8th grade year when my family was living out in Camarillo, California.  Since we knew we would only be there for a year, my family packed in trips and activities throughout the entire year.  I spent my summer on the beach, getting baked a deep brown by the sun as I learned how to surf in the Junior Lifeguard program.  I hiked through parks and biked to school every day.  I won my school's spelling bee and got 6th place and an almanac at the regional competition.  I graduated as valedictorian of my middle school and wore bright red pants for my commencement speech.  I ate dates that fell from the date palm in my front yard.  I played hours of Sonic the Hedgehog on my friend's Sega Genesis.  I learned how to play roller hockey, even if I was never very good. 

I spent each day that year living in my own little world, but it was okay because my world included all the parts of the real world that really mattered.  I think if I could re-live one year again, it would be that year, if only so those memories were refreshed in my head right now, fighting the fading that occurs from the passage of time.  But looking back on this entry, I think re-living that year is what I've just done this morning, while writing this piece.

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    Video: Show us a movie, show or video that inspired you to try something new. 

    Submitted by Ross 

Hey!  That's my vox hunt question!

Okay, this is sort of silly, but the things we watch as a kid really DO influence us.

I think I first saw the Karate Kid when I was about 8 or 9.  At the time it seemed incredible.  I wanted to be the "Karate Kid" and I'm sure I "practiced" my crane kick on my brothers many times.  Even though I never got to participate in a formal karate program as a kid, I'm know I thought about various martial arts styles quite a bit, and this probably lead to my admiration/fascination for all things martial arts today.

One summer at Camp Airy (a 4-8 week long sleep-over summer camp) I had the chance to choose an elective sport.  Most people chose basketball, or archery, or swimming, or soccer, or football.  I chose karate, partly because it meant I didn't have to walk up and down the gigantic hill to the athletic fields, and partly because of my fascination with the discipline.  I remember enjoying it immensely, and chose to follow up my second season at the camp with a second karate elective.  However, by that time I was really into running and joined my school's cross country and track teams, and didn't follow through with any more martial arts.

In college, after a year of running on the varsity cross country and track teams, I injured my knee.  Not seriously to the point of permanent injury, but enough that I wouldn't be able to keep up the 80-mile-a-week regime and stay in the running (pun intended) with the other folks.  Come that fall, I impulsively checked out the ISKF (Shotokan) karate group on campus, and my passion for the martial arts was renewed.

I spent the next two years learning Shotokan karate, starting from a white belt, skipping yellow and going straight to orange (through the ISKF judges' decision), and ending up at a green belt.  Progressing through the belt ranks took time, discipline, agility, stamina, and general athleticism.  My knee never bothered me in the least, I made some great friends, traveled around to different universities for tournaments, and generally had a fun and rewarding time.

My fourth year in college, I got involved in some other things (DJing and pizza delivery), and my interest in karate waned.  I don't regret leaving it behind for the other experiences I've gained, but I wouldn't mind looking into getting back into karate at some point in the future.  After all, you never know when you need to break out "the crane" on some overbearing bully, right?

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Vox Hunt: I’m The DJ

Posted: 2007-04-18 in General
Tags: , , , ,

    Audio: Congrats, you're the radio DJ!  What six songs are in your first on-air set?

    Submitted by LeendaDLL.

Since I actually WAS a radio DJ back in college for a local, listener supported radio station, I'll list part of one of the "sets" I did from 2-6 AM, one Easter morning.  This excludes the songs that I had to play because they came up in the play order, and only includes the ones that I personally chose during the "DJ's choice" slots the lineup allowed.

1) American Jesus by Bad Religion
2) Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam by Nirvana (written by The Vaselines)
3) Dear God by XTC
4) Deadbeat Holiday by Green Day
5) Jesus Built My Hotrod by Ministry
6) Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode

I don't want to say there was a theme to my set that morning, because there was an awful lot of modern rock and alternative music that DIDN'T fit the bill, but these were all songs that I decided to play once I was in the studio that morning.  I'm sure if I had prepped or had a longer block, I could have inserted some more, but this was all I could muster in the time I had.

Bad Religion - American Jesus Live JESUS DOESN'T WANT ME FOR A SUNBEAM NIRVANA Live !! XTC - Dear God

Deadbeat Holiday Ministry Jesus built my hotrod Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus

And yes, I know that the Green Day vid is actually a montage of clips from Lost.  It doesn't look like there's a vid available online (if there ever was one), but this was actually not bad, so I decided to include it.

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