Saturday, September 27, 2008

authoritarian regimes are SO last century

friday night i watched the presidential debate. in fact, not only did i watch the debate, but i ended up all over the local news. i wasn't giving a comment or anything, it was just a picture of me watching the debates. i'm still not sure why of all the people there that it had to be my office mate and i on the news, but what are you gonna do...

having already stated my distaste for politics, some of you (and by 'some of you' i mean the three people that read this blog) might be left wondering why i watched the debate. i hadn't planned to. in fact, i was actively planning to NOT watch the debates. until, that is, mccain tried to weasel his way out of participating by suddenly claiming to have an interest in our rapidly disintegrating economy. which, by the way, is the political version of claiming you have to stay home and wash your hair instead of going out on a date you know well ahead of time will be disaster.

a few things about the debate... for anybody out there that was unsure, they didn't actually give any answers that literally translate into policy or action. televised debates just aren't about that. it's about who can pretend to answer questions that NOBODY wants to hear discussed in a truthful fashion and look composed while doing it. do YOU want to hear that our economy is about to collapse, nobody has the first clue what to do about it, and on top of that hatred for america is multiplying exponentially in countries that are on the verge of perfecting their nuclear capabilities? yeah...i didn't think so....

well mccain did show up. and proceeded to look not only elderly and sort of crazy, but a little bit foolish. where do i even start? his dental plate whistled when he spoke, he had a facial tick, and he looked like he was about to start crying. this twitchiness was exacerbated by his tie that reflected off his shirt like a piece of fruit stripe gum (blue raspberry flavor) on a blue metallic background. not since hitchcock's vertigo have apparel and mannerism worked so well together in creating a feeling of reeling nausea for the viewer.

and by the way, john mccain, as far as foreign policy is concerned we already have a 'league of democracies.' it's called the united nations (UN). people have the impression that the UN is a failed institution. well guess what, the main reason it fails is that america won't cooperate with their mandates. but we won't pull out either. we just prefer to keep it deadlocked and impotent. oh and here's another league of democracies. this one's called nato. they're not backing us whole heartedly either. so i suppose they just don't count.

and is anyone else concerned that obama mentioned finding AND KILLING (in these exact words) osama bin laden, not once, but twice? i guess that's how america rolls these days. actually i think this is how we've always gotten down, only now it's perfectly acceptable to say it out loud while the world watches. i'm still voting for him, as i believe he's the best shot we have at NOT getting nuked (not to mention he's got great teeth and is quite charming) but come on...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

duck and cover

a very special thanks to my sister who sent me a super scary video montage of republican rhetoric. i would highly recommend it for the person that thinks the Cold War days of mutually assured destruction are over. but not for those of your friends who already spend way too much time considering the implications of nuclear holocaust (like myself, in case you were wondering). and also in case you were wondering, this is a very real reality for america if our foreign policy isn't drastically reconsidered.

i really haven't been that involved in that many conversations concerning the election. and to all the people that keep asking me "who should i vote for?" stop asking me that shit. (the answer is obama, by the way) it's not really my research area and i can't stand american politics. trust me when i say that the research in this field is, in most cases, beyond boring. the exception to this is social movement theory, which is actually a huge interest of mine. yes. i am still trying to figure out how to start the revolution. no. i don't know what it will look like. or when it will be happening. that's the thing about the revolution, you aren't going to be getting a save-the-date card. so stop fucking asking.

and besides, my telling you who you should vote for (and the answer is still obama) makes you the poster child for all the political elitists feeling that the average person is too stupid to vote. and based on the number of random people that have asked me this question, i'm starting to half-way believe this myself.

did i mention that the republican video montage was set to the soundtrack from "requiem for a dream?" i'm not sure whether it was thinking about the devastation of a nuclear attack or the thought of going ass to ass for a snort of h that did it, but my day is completely unsettled.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


so right now i'm in the midst of writing my masters thesis, which is about as stressful an undertaking as any you could ever hope for (except for writing a dissertation, which i get the pleasure of thinking about as soon as this year is over). my approach to papers in the past has always been as follows:

1.) procrastinate as long as absolutely possible
2.) spend a protracted period of time (usually 1-2 days) freaking out and writing in a panic
3.) turn in paper while swearing to myself to NEVER AGAIN put doing something off that long
4.) forget about it completely (the paper and the stress)

apparently the relief of actually finishing the paper and not failing whatever seminar it was for acts like some sort of amnesia hormone (the kind that makes women forget the pain of childbirth so that they'll do it again and the human species won't become extinct), as i've repeated this process roughly a thousand times throughout my academic career. no revising. no editing. just extreme stress and extreme relief. followed by excessive drinking. such luck with the thesis. there just isn't time to procrastinate. it is a daily struggle that is sucking the life out of me one word at a time.

i'm just not sure revision is my thing really. i would much rather just start something new than have to reread and fix something i've already started. this probably extends to other areas of my life as well. take people, for example. once i'm done with someone, i'm done. end of story. i'm not one of those people that makes and breaks up a thousand times with another person. it just isn't in me. as a very smart person told me, sometimes you just have to take a permanent marker and cross people out of your book of life. i'm really good at this. (before anyone calls me out on the recent past, yes, there are notable exceptions which i have found very difficult to cross out of my book of life, but all and all a 97.6% success rate of elimination isn't that bad...i can graph that for you if you like)

in a way, writing a thesis is like having a relationship. an incredibly dysfunctional, abusive relationship that makes you cry everyday. but no one can see the marks it puts on you, so they don't really believe you when you tell them how bad it is. and you can't leave. because if you do, your career is over. people have asked me why put so much pressure on myself, especially this week when my body started physically rejecting the pressure i've been putting on myself. this rejection took the form of crippling muscle spasms in my back, which resulted in my throwing up every meal i ate for like four days. that's how much it hurt.

but i kept working through right through it. i'm not really sure why. part of it is that i have seen firsthand how bad life is when you're living paycheck to paycheck and i'll do whatever i have to do to not go through that. part of it is that i don't have a relationship to fall back on. or a wedding to look forward to. if i fail at my career, i have to admit that i'm a failure in both my personal and professional life. and i'm just ready to do that yet.

but it is getting better. the second draft of my proposal was on point. at least the work is paying off. my work that i did myself. and that is the best feeling in the world.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

(please don't) call me any, anytime

and it's a story that might bore you...but you have to listen to it anyway. so one of the things that bothers me to the point of distraction is when i get phone calls from numbers i don't recognize and that person fails to leave a message. this leaves me freaked out as to who it was/what they wanted/ what catastrophic event has occurred that would necessitate someone calling from a number i don't recognize and then prevent them from leaving a message.

it's really the last thing that is key here. in my mind, when there is gap in information which i cannot fill, i immediately jump to the worst case disaster scenario. death. apartment fires. horrific tragedies of any persuasion. all of these things become not only possible, but extremely plausible and acceptable explanations of mystery calls. i fully realize that this is a personal problem that is particular to myself. well, possibly others experience this, though obviously not the degenerate perpetrators of these types of calls.

i hit up the emily post institute to see if i could at least validate my distress with etiquette, but apparently there's no mannerly obligation to leave a message. although after seeing how sadly misinformed they are about proper tipping , i would have to be highly skeptical of any information they had to offer. (20% IS THE NEW 15%. not 15%-20%. not 10% at a buffet. 20%. anything less and you aren't worth the server's time...just trust me on this one)

back to point...mystery callers have the potential for throwing my entire day off course...i love getting phone calls, but pretty please, with a cherry on top, leave a fucking message.
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