The End is Nigh

It is close to one in the morning here as I sit looking at these stupid portraits of Lindsay Lohan that I chose to focus on for my thesis. I wish I could travel back in time those six months ago when I chose these images and give myself a nice slap in the face. (And also go back a bit farther in time to stop myself from dyeing my hair such hideous shades of blonde. Ugh.) I’m not sure why I thought Lindsay Lohan would be a good subject for a 30-40 page paper, but at some point, I was really into it.

That point is long gone.

My thesis is due Friday. Which is tomorrow. It has been a long, hard road to get to this stage. I have burned through a lot of ink and friendships have been put to the test by the bad mood that inevitably occurs when I have to work on my thesis (all of the time).

I like to think of myself as the Lindsay Lohan of thesis writers. I had so much promise in the beginning, then I fell into patterns of irresponsibility, and now I’m scrambling to put the pieces back together. I am hoping that my thesis turns out better than LL’s current life. I believe she is now going on a 90-day court-ordered rehab stint? I’m not going to rehab that I know of, so I guess that’s good! Hey, look at me, Dad! I could be Lindsay Lohan going to rehab but instead I’m really smart and am writing about her!

You done good, parents.

Also, I’m sorry that I burned through my money this semester. I blame Lindsay Lohan.

- Daughter

 

 

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The Hamster Wheel of Misery

I like to think of myself as a hamster sometimes. And the never-ending to-do list that has consumed my life and my very being is the hamster wheel that compels me to run, run, run and GO, GO, GO. My little hamster feet get tired but the wheel doesn’t care, hence: “The Hamster Wheel of Misery.” This sums up my life as of late.

Self-Portrait as Hamster.

Self-Portrait as Hamster.

I am constantly trying to just get one thing done at the expense of other things. Sometimes, that thing is a shower. Sometimes, it’s socializing with human beings. Sometimes, it’s calling your dad back …

As a result of pushing various things aside to give attention to more immediate concerns, mountains of undone work have built up until I give up and go to bed. (Usually, I stress-eat wasabi crackers and then sleep, actually. I digress) I’ve started to have nightmares from stress. And it’s the same nightmare every time: a favorite professor comes up to me and shakes her head slowly from side to side and says solemnly, “You are a great disappointment.” And then I wake up screaming until I comfort myself with the knowledge that I am a speshul snowflake.

I have also sprouted gray hairs from stress. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the salt-and-pepper look. I just thought I’d have a few more years before I rocked that. Apparently not! I got all excited when I first caught the extra shiny hair glittering in the bathroom lights because ALRIGHT, HIGHLIGHTS!! Upon closer inspection, it was a silvery hair. I pulled it out and examined it. In this little hair marked four nights of endless restlessness as I turned in one essay after the other in a rapid procession. It was a keepsake, really! But I try to avoid collecting  tsotchkes at this point in my life.

So, yes, Dad, this is my direct response to your post that I’ve been radio-silent. Well, yes, I have. But not without good reason! Your daughter has been attempting to fend off fire-breathing deans, thesis advisors, and professors. All of whom seem to have a personal vendetta against me this semester. I’m not sure whose death they are avenging, but they are pretty intent on killing me regardless.

Also, Pops, I’ve been, like, sending in job applications everyday. I’m trying to be a Real Person ™.

Yes, Dad, I know this is an entire post where I whine, justify it, and then whine more. It’s how I roll, Dad. Speaking of rolling, t-minus thirty days until we roll right on out of here! Couldn’t be a moment too soon. I’d rather not have to dye my hair to cover the gray…

- Daughter

Public Speaking

Dear God. Is there anything more heinous than getting up in front of your peers and talking about some subject that you have vague knowledge of but are definitely not an expert on? That’s what I did today. I presented on my thesis. Most of the presentation went swimmingly but then, there were a few times where I started a sentence and the end just never happened. Poor Sentence, he had a tough upbringing and the odds were against him from the start. All he wanted to do was finish what he started, alas, it was not to be.

It was also embarrassing because, well, my thesis largely centers on images of Lindsay Lohan. So, I had to explain who she was to my class as per my thesis advisor’s request, which is in itself, very depressing. I do like to think my subject is entertaining. And it is! But I am never ever ever ever ever ever ever going to write about something that I truly despise in a lengthy academic paper ever again. I thought it’d give me some fire if I didn’t like the artist I’m working on or the model in the photographs, but instead, I just want to rip out my hair.

I think I basically blacked out the rest of my presentation because I don’t remember what exactly happened. I sounded half-way coherent, which, in my book, is good. I also didn’t throw up during it or cry or accidentally swear. Success!! Okay!!

A part of me does wish I had come in a red wig while smoking and crying while also re-enacting through interpretative dance the stages of Lindsay Lohan’s downfall, but that is something I will have to save for later.

Ah, well. I have my whole life to get better at presentations. Until then, I will haphazardly stumble through my thought process and hope that somebody, ANYBODY, will understand me.

- Daughter

That Moment When Your Academic Advisor Tells You Your Writing Sucks and You Want to Curl Up and Die

Oh, how the great have fallen.

I am currently in the process of writing a thesis. It will end up being around 30-40 pages of writing about a subject in art history. I was not concerned about it really until today, when my advisor told me that she couldn’t follow the logic of my paper. I mean, I did turn in a horribly rough draft of my thesis but I had good ideas. Just because of most of it is in Spanish and Mandarin doesn’t mean it isn’t good. And just because I let a four-year-old come up with most of the ideas in the paper doesn’t mean it’s illogical.

The problem is, I am one of those “creative” people who works in a haphazard, irrational and slightly schizophrenic way. I feel and hear and smell (?) all of these  ideas in my head and get wrapped up in trying to do justice to all of them.

This is how the paper-writing process goes: I write a bit, dance to Beyonce, and then sit down. And write more. And then make coffee. And then sit down on the floor. And then make a poster with a flow chart of key terms in my paper. And then I get up to dance more. And then I eat a brownie. And then I lay on the hardwood floor and slide my body around it pretending to be a human mop. Of course, all of this activity only happens intermittently. Inevitably, there’s a few weeks after the initial buzz of ideas where I stare blankly at a very empty Microsoft Word document. I’m at that point.

I haven’t cried yet over my thesis but I am getting there.

My advisor said she was “concerned” and said in no uncertain terms that I needed a writing tutor. It’s not like I’m too good for a writing tutor – okay, I totally am too good for a writing tutor. OH, THE INJUSTICE.

Perhaps my thesis is taking up so much time and energy because it revolves around Lindsay Lohan. It’s soul-draining work. But somebody has to do it.

Well, not really. Nobody has to do it. Except for me because it’s a major requirement.

- Daughter

Sociopath?

Watch me be the new Norman Bates on HuffPost Live!

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/a-little-white-lie/51341b182b8c2a536b000254

I had to defend lying today via HuffPost Live and I think I maybe succeeded? Or at least, that’s what I’ll tell myself so I can sleep tonight.

Not that I will sleep tonight anyway because kittens will probably run across my face at some point. They see my face as one of those little Zen gardens and their claws as the little rakes. So when they scratch me, really, they are just trying to restore order in the universe. What wise kittens.

In other news, spring break is next week! I’d like to pretend that I’m going on some fabulous trip but really, I’m just going to be in the fetal position, crying about my thesis, and not going anywhere – literally and figuratively. I feel like I’ve come down with a raging case of snow blindness from staring at the white pages of all these books and unfortunately, there are 5490523094583209 books to go through still. I might just write the words “snow blindness” on a piece of paper and turn it in in lieu of my thesis because I’m post-modern like that.

It also doesn’t help matters that the images I’m analyzing feature Lindsay Lohan. Can you think of a less motivational figure to want to analyze in photographs? I sure can’t. I don’t regret this thesis topic at all.

- Daughter

 

 

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