Here’s how my day works at Roundhouse Kick Entertainment: I show up to work at 7:00, take an hour for lunch at 12:00, and then head home around 5:00.
Keep in mind that when I say 7:00, I mean 7:00 PM, at which point my parents are already on their second glass of wine and watching Jeopardy! back in Oregon. When I say 12:00 I mean midnight, when my digestive system is still getting used to the idea of me eating a meal that may well be from the nearby In-N-Out. And 5:00 is 5:00 AM, when the real assholes among you are getting up to go to the gym for two hours before going to work.
The night shift is more commonly associated with cops, waiters, and vampires* than with assistant video editors, but that’s part of what makes my employment at Roundhouse Kick so cool – the company is blowing up in the best way possible. We have multiple new shows in development, the ones that we’re airing right now are big hits, and we’re hiring people so fast that we’re expanding through the buildings in our office park like some kind of cancer, buying out office space of less successful production companies and moving the new people in fast enough to raid the old company’s bagel supply before they’ve fully moved out.
*Believe it or not, kids, there was a time when vampires only came out at night, and that was to drink people’s blood, not moon over pouty high school girls and spend their eternal life quietly espousing Christian values.
Part of what this success means, though, is that we have more stuff to do than time to do it, hence why Roundhouse Kick became a 24-hour operation, not unlike Denny’s or an unusually dedicated prostitute. When I show up to work each evening, the day shift people tell us the work they were unable to finish as they head for their cars, and then we go to work on it for the night, leaving them a note about where we left off before heading out ourselves.
Last summer I didn’t have a job (short of trying to keep The Ex Girlfriend happy, which was less a job and more cruel and unusual punishment) and so had little incentive to stick to any civilized type of sleep schedule. Many nights I’d retire from the XBox at around 3:00 AM and get up somewhere in the vicinity of noon. I guess my reasoning was that if I wasn’t able to find work, I ought to fully embrace being a slacker.
After nearly three weeks at Roundhouse, my sleep schedule has begun to normalize. Last night I got home at 5:15 AM and I woke up at about 2:00 PM, which, when compared with the hours I kept last summer, is roughly the same. I still see some daylight before I head off to work, and I don’t feel guilty about my sleep schedule because instead of being a byproduct of laziness it’s a byproduct of the fact that I work a 50 hour week.
Also, anyone who wants to accuse me of missing out on life by sleeping through my mornings can shut the hell up, because I watch the Sun rise and set every day, which, according to a lot of made for TV movies, is probably one of the most life affirming things you can do.
While it’s nice to watch the Sun rise as I drive home, the problem is once I get home the Sun stays up, and the blinds in my apartment weren’t so much designed to keep the Sun out as they were to keep the neighbors from seeing you looking at porn. This didn’t matter for the first week or so, because as I adjusted to my new schedule I’d be so tired coming home every morning that no amount of sunlight streaming through my paper thin blinds could keep me awake.
More recently, though, my after work routine became something out of a cartoon: I’d get home, drag myself inside, crawl into bed, and just begin to close my eyes when sunlight would barge into my room and pull my eyelids open like curtains.
The Internet recommended using an eye pillow to block out the sunlight, assuming that I was a regular shopper at Grandmas ‘R Us and had such a thing tucked away somewhere in my dingy bachelor pad. For most of last week I settled for laying two (clean!) socks across my eyes, which blocked out a fair amount of sunlight in return for a fair amount of dignity. Towards the end of the week, though, I decided that I was done letting the largest celestial body in the Solar System force me to go to bed wearing socks on my face, which led to the creation of Operation Nightfall.
The only reason it's so light is because I had to use the flash so you could see anything.
In one of those coincidences that you wouldn’t believe if you saw it in a movie, Mom and Dad had left several cardboard panels in the backseat of The Mystery Wagon when they handed over the keys. Remembering this one morning as I lay in my Sun dappled bed unable to sleep, I pulled on some pants and marched out to the car with the drive and determination of a madman.
After scouring the apartment for tape I went to work pasting the panels to the window, which miraculously fit perfectly, as though they had been designed for the task. Then, knowing that I truly had gone insane, I cut up a black plastic bag I had with me and taped the shreds over holes in the cardboard in hopes of more fully blocking daylight from my room.
As I write this at 3:00 in the afternoon, darkness reigns in my room, and I could well continue sleeping with no problem. Unfortunately, my neighbors across the alley now only know me as The Guy Who Covered His Windows With Cardboard, so they think I’m either a crackhead or a pedophile, or both.
Truman Capps thinks that his shying away from the sun is yet another step on the road to becoming the crusty old prospector everyone thinks he’ll be.