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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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

The Rainbow Fish was a Confederate

WordPress just up and died on me. I can’t access the main site so I have to use my phone to update today. I apologize for the brevity of the post and will serenade you with my regular ramblings tomorrow when WordPress rises like the Lazarus of the Internet.

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Today, I wrote over one thousand words about The Rainbow Fish picture book by Marcus Pfister. You know, the one with the fish with the shiny scales and a bad attitude.

I mention this only because I ended the paper with the most bizarre sentence ever that included the words: “each fish is entitled to its own share of sparkle.” I’m practically Mark Twain. Ok, it makes more sense within the context of the paper but still, what the what?! The only way I could have ended it better is if I just used various emoticons in place of words… :) :/ :( :?

It seems my blog writing habits are in the midst of a coup to wrest power from my academic writing habits who have held my authorial voice hostage for decades. It’s a civil war. And it will be a bloody, ruthless fight. Parody and humor are hacking away at academic seriousness like an ax to a tree.

I hope they can reach an armistice and just agree that we are all entitled to our own share of sparkle regardless of our relation to the Mason-Dixon Line.

- Daughter

I Wear Water Wings to Class

This is the best analogy I can think of that describes how I feel as a student: I’m in a swimming pool and doing laps diligently, pounding out cold, hard logic with each stroke. The other students in class? They like to wear water wings and flap around in the kiddie pool of hypotheticals.

I HAZ SMART.

I HAZ SMART.

Just kidding, I’m the one with the water wings. I’m always rambling on and on in class because I love to hear the sound of my own voice which is best described as the rustling of angel wings. When I speak in class, I like to change my mind mid-way through my comment about some obscure idea I have and just utterly confuse everyone. I think it was George Washington who said, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” So, I’m a great student according to GWash. And everybody knows GWash was the man. He cut down that cherry tree, angered the British, and started the Bolshevik Revolution. He’s a forefather of this great nation and also a forefather of my academic strategy to confuse professors into giving me an A on everything I touch. I’m like King Midas. Except better.

This semester, because I’m a senior, I get to write a thesis. *Puts on water-wings.* It’s very difficult, important, and world-changing work. I consider this art history thesis my gift to the academic world, much like my physical existence is a gift to the world in general. But back to my thesis. I had to go this thing called a “library” today where I collected books with the most ridiculous, highfalutin, and esoteric titles (ironically, I just had to look up how to spell ‘highfalutin’). And I loved every second of it. WHO’S READY TO READ, FEMALE CHAUVINIST PIGS: WOMEN AND THE RISE OF RAUNCH CULTURE? ME. And as a bedtime story, I plan to read theoretical literature about pop culture and mass media, like Down from the Pedestal. No, but seriously, get down from that pedestal. You’re drunk and you will hurt yourself. You might cut yourself on a sharp hypothetical or something.

- Daughter

The Unpublishable Piece I Wrote For My Internship

Me being serious.

Me being serious.

I have to do a bit of writing here and there for my internship. Sometimes, my ability to write is complicated by my utter lack of lucidity in the mornings. Mostly because I can never stop looking at cat pictures the night before. In the fog of sleep-deprived delirium, I believe – nay, AM – a comic genius who can turn anything into a humorous masterpiece. Homelessness rate up? I can probably work in a #nohobo joke. West Nile Virus threat? Kanye West seems a fitting punchline somewhere. Earthquake fears? No, it’s just yo’ mama taking a walk.

Anyway, during one particular morning, I had around 3 hours of sleep and 4 cups of coffee. The combination of caffeine and sleeplessness created a monster who refused to write about anything in a serious manner. I was shaking. Was it from the caffeine? Or were the very fibers of my being trembling with laughter?

My task that day was to write a little post about a housing competition. Simple enough for a sane, well-rested person, someone I was not at that moment. I did try at first but the blank page before me became too much, I gave up and unchained the crazy. Brilliance ensued: why not anthropomorphize the houses? Why can’t the housing competition be presented as a Bachelor-style dating show? Sure, I thought, that’d be hilarious. 

Here it is in full:

Bored of your own house and daydream about finding the One? Look no further. Three finalists from the San Diego area are competing for your vote (and affections) in Redfin’s Iconic Homes of America Competition.

Bachelor #1: 10292 Wateridge Circle. He enjoys watching the sunset each evening with a glass of red wine sangria. His ideal mate loves Real Housewives of Miami and rollerblading. Located in Sorrento Valley, this split-level home features beautiful Spanish architecture complete with palm trees.

Bachelor #2: 7310 Vista Del Mar Avenue. Long walks on the beach and playing ultimate Frisbee fill his leisure hours when he isn’t working his day job as an investment banker. It’s the second largest residence on the La Jolla coast and possibly the coolest. Private beach access and ocean views are framed by impressive Mediterranean architecture.

Bachelor #3: 816 San Rafael Place. His favorite activity is dancing to smooth jazz under the moonlight. He hopes his next romantic partner will share his love of waffles. This four-story house is located in Mission Beach and has 360-degree views of the coastline from the rooftop deck, a true Californian residence.

Voting is open from October 26 to November 2. Vote for your favorite on Redfin’s Homes of America page on Facebook. Who will get the final rose? On November 5, America will find out.

My supervisors told me it was “cute” which in editorial terms means that it will never see anything but the bottom of a trashcan.

- Daughter

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