Every graphics researcher knows this dreadful period, in which you undergo a metamorphosis from a care-free person during the late summer to a nervous wreck by the end of January. It's known as SIGGRAPH-submission time! And slowly but surely we are starting to feel the changes around this time of the year.
For people outside of the graphics community this is something that's hard to imagine, but SIGGRAPH is the nec plus ultra in graphics land. Your professional career is often measured by the number of SIGGRAPH papers, and a good paper by a Ph.D. student can land him a good post-doc position. And, your face gets projected on a huge screen in front of thousands of computer graphics nerds, as shown here (that's me during the SIGGRAPH Papers fast forward in 2003). These are of course the goodies dealt out after your paper got accepted.
But in the mean time, you will go through a horrible time of cheap food, endless discussions, tuning colors for the ultimate video, and frantic paper-writing. Every year many vow not to do it again, or at least start sooner. But the whole process is so addictive it's hard to give it up. I guess that's what research is all about!