Sunday, May 15, 2011

When I go insane, please change my name to Moldova

Yesterday I experienced something the likes of which I have never seen. Eurovision. Oh Em Gee. I finally found the absurdity that was missing from my life. And have come to fully realize that Europe is doomed. However, I can't express the amount of joy I got documenting the event, that could only be surpassed by the entrance of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, on Twitter. It's amazing how amusing I find myself.

In all honesty, I should have seen this coming. When I was in England in 2009 I was introduced to Mika, running around like a clown on purpose. England loves their crazy. And apparently so does the rest of Europe. However, I didn't expect them to love that level of pop; old school pop at that. With very few exceptions, the entire continent is still listening to 80's pop and 90's boy bands. Georgia, who rocked it with angry grungy hip hop, single-handedly brought late 90s music to Europe. I never thought a band who reminded me more than a little of the Black Eyed Peas would be a welcome musical experience. France tried to evoke a revolution with military jackets (which were so 2009) and a Les Mis-like score. I think they're overcompensating for WWII. And Italy and Romania unveiled their respective Michael Buble cloning projects.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Vanilla Ice is now in Russia.

And who wins the crackpipe award? Moldova. I was warned that Moldova has a history of insanity at Eurovision, but I was in no way prepared for the spectacle. I should have looked up their performance from 2010, but that would have ruined the WTF factor. Men in 3-foot gnome hats seemed perfectly normal compared to the chick in a fairy costume with a horn riding a unicycle and the final close up of perfected monocle use. That viewing experience could have only been better with the addition of little green faries, but, alas, I'm all out of absinthe. Once I find out where this country actually is, and where they get their crack stash, I might have to go visit. And I fully expect Moldovan customs to hand out unicycles upon entrance into the country.

But all in all, I learned an important lesson thanks to Eurovision. Never mention a threesome in a Twitter posts. Hello, porn spam. This is totally Ireland's fault. What kind of name is Jedward anyways?

Europe, you're definitely living up to your US reputation and stereotype, while making Justin Bieber look good at the same time. After three hours immersed in European pop culture, I missed Bieber hair. But I can't fault them. That was by far the best three hours on a Saturday afternoon I have ever wasted. Thank you, Eurovision, from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, May 13, 2011

When dissertations get kinky...

... it doesn't bode well.

The most recent description I have come up with to describe my feelings towards my dissertation is: "I feel like I'm in a S&M relationship with my dissertation and I was never given a safe word." This is also the most accurate description. Safe words are important, kiddos. Otherwise you're just left dominated, tied up, and abused.

On a related note, it was suggested that "cloaca" be my safe word, but I've concluded that it'd be far too easy for me to work that into pillow talk.

Other people have put their grad school sentiments more tactfully. For example, in a recent article in The Nation a Columbia University professor was quoted saying, "Going to grad school's a suicide mission." How vanilla. This article, of course, was re-posted on Facebook by half my graduate student friends with various messages of "woe is me", and half my tenured friends with various messages of "sucks to be you". Unfortunately, I can only support this hypothesis with my own empirical evidence. Woe is me.

Looking at my Facebook profile and TweetStream, I guess this has been a pretty rough week between me and my dissertation. Somehow I've taken a flogging without even realizing it. And I find it rather disconcerting that it takes my social media updates to act as a status report. All of my posts from the last week have documented my tenuous relationships with my dissertation, with a highlight being, "If my dissertation is the Battle of the Bulge, then I'm sitting in a snowy foxhole getting the shit mortared out of me." Obviously I need to post more cute kitten videos to negate the documentation of my downward-spiraling soul.

I can really only end this bitchfest with the reflection that The Simpsons really provides a perfect social commentary on pretty much everything. And might I add, that middle video clip was a lot funnier before I turned 30...

(On a side note, when I first heard the term "blog" I thought it stood for Bitch LOG. I fully realize that this post is totally living up to that sentiment.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The worst thing that has ever happened to me:

The invention of ebooks.

Which was not helped by the gift of a Barnes & Noble Nook ebook reader for Christmas. Double whammy.

Finishing up my 5th year of my Ph.D. program while being massively behind on ALL my deadlines (don't you just love the sound they make as the whoosh by?) doesn't really leave me with copious amounts of time for non-scientific reading. The fact that I've been a grad student for just a shade under a decade and my funding will likely run out before I actually finish this effing degree doesn't really leave me with copious amounts of money for non-booze purchases. So making books - my unparalleled addiction - as easy to purchase as ONE click of the mouse will surely prove to be my ultimate downfall. Funny, I always thought that would be liver failure or an unfortunate trundling accident.

This "One Click Smut" (does that sound wrong, or is it just me?) issue need to be rectified. STAT. Frat boys around the country may argue the point, but easier is not always better - especially when it involves time and money I don't have. I need to be forced to work for things, particularly things which may be soothing to my soul, but harmful to my career goals. Afterall, I think we've clearly established that I don't have much of a soul left these days, so really, what's the point? Consequently, I demand that more steps be added in the ebook-purchasing process. Perhaps a 200 question survey of our understanding of metaphysics and how it relates to experience should be instated, or a required expository essay on how the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand relates to the break up of Prussia. (And might I mention, the phrase "expository essay" always makes me think of John Hodgman, Resident Expert.) At least before ebooks I had to get in my car and drive across town to get my fix. Considering I'm too lazy to even put on pants unless I have to, extra steps would really help the chaos ebooks are wrecking on my life. And require me to wear pants less often. Somebody needs to get on this. Now. Before I buy anymore books this week. I mean, how am I supposed to charge my Nook when they shut off my power because I can't pay my bill?

Ebooks. The worst thing that has ever happened to me.

Oh yeah. And that time I got run over by an ATV-wielding Canadian in the Arctic was pretty bad, too.