What the title means is that last night, despite the protests of my body, I pulled my first true allnighter in two years. Thus ends an era of triumph - I was trying so hard to sleep regularly, but when I get really sucked into a task, I don't do anything else until it's done. I haven't allowed myself to do that in a long time, because it's so dangerous to do so. Hopefully this isn't an indication of my lapse back into seriously wacky sleep patterns (two allnighters a week was just not a good idea).

Why the allnighter? Our design of echo is a finalist in the Japan Design Competition, and we needed to submit new slides to Osaka so the judges could preview a more detailed version of our original entry. I am one of "the artists" of the team (the other "art dude" being the talented Joe Kendall) and also apparently subject to Murphy's Law while travelling, which led to me spending two days intended for drawing en route to my aunt's house instead. The long story involves a busted transmission, a late bus, and spending the night on a couch approximately 60% as long as I was. (Surprisingly non-uncomfortable.)

Those five images represent 16 hours of nonstop work, by the way. Add a 17th hour driving around town in a panic trying to find internet before the deadline because wireless has died 10 minutes before I was ready to send the files. The library was closed, Starbucks cost money I didn't have, and... the Olin library was open. Yay Olin library! I did get a few "Mel? What are you doing back here?" comments, though. (Dear staff and faculty - I swear I'm on vacation, kind of. Sometimes.)

Those five slides also represent the reason why I'm not a professional graphic designer (although it's reinforced my resolve to learn that as soon as I get a better grasp on engineering). In a followup to my "I'm learning web design!" post, echo is also my first "real webpage." Very much a work in progress. Grainy graphics, non-elastic images, not quite cross-browser perfect, almost w3c-compliant... very obviously the work of an n00b (you don't even need to look at the code - just look at the color scheme) but at least I'm making something. And I'll be taking a second pass to fix it up before we leave for Osaka at the end of January.

If I'm going to get up in 5 hours, I need to sleep now.