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Roller Derby Enrollment Skyrockets; Tea-Partiers Blame ObamaCare

12 Nov

Before Mary Rocco became “Marilyn MonRoll,” she spent quiet evenings watching Breaking Bad reruns with her boyfriend or chatting with her up-cycling group at local coffee houses. But when Mary saw a hand-written flier for a local roller derby league, the mousy, almost full-time administrative assistant thought it was time to lace up her wheels. “I hadn’t worn them since I dressed up as Rollergirl for Halloween. I wasn’t even sure if I could zip them past my ankles anymore.” Not only could she zip them, but in little time, she found herself zipping around a waxed roller rink with girls who looked like this:

Image

The Boner Crushers recruited SvetLama a.k.a “Roller Serb” from a Ukranian dodgeball league in 2003, when women acting like men was at an all-time high with the hit HBO series Sex and the City.

Mary is one of a thousand of unfeminine women across America who are having bottom surgeries and joining roller-derby leagues. When asked about her inspiration, Mary said, “That Juno girl gave up her baby and then joined a roller derby team. I found it inspiring.”

Mary’s teammate PeTUNA Clark, a gym teacher by day and a defensive jammer by rink, said that she’s been wanting to join roller derby for years, and now can thanks to her new ObamaCare health insurance plan. “Roller Derby is too dangerous of a sport to do without health insurance. Unfortunately, Phy ED teachers are going down all across the country. Not only are our benefits and hours being stripped away, so are our gender identities.” Clark cites ObamaCare as the reason she is able to join a league of women who are so successful at making both men and women equally uncomfortable.

Clark says that before derby, she got most of her pleasure from teaching a basketball unit to freshman girls because there was a lot of "bouncing up and down and jumping around." Here she is posing in her locker room.

Clark says that before derby, she got most of her pleasure from teaching basketball to freshman girls because there was a lot of “bouncing up and down and jumping around.” Here she is posing in her locker room.

And Clark isn’t alone. Her teammates HairThere Delilah, Barron Erin, and Dolly Pardoner have been waiting until they’re insured to join roller derby. U of Texas-Austin Gender Studies grad student and roller derby participant TestosteRhonda, states that roller derby enrollment has been up “a whole lot” since the rollout of ObamaCare this past October. She estimates an increase of “like 200%” since the sport was established in the “1970s or so.”

Rollerderby is a sport that was inspired by the 1979 cult- hit film The Warriors in which the music band the Village People turn in their police outfits for roller-skates and switchblades and comment on racial tension and HIV in New York City. Early pioneers in the sport include Billie Jean King, Cheryl Miller, and Greg Louganis. It was rumored that Donald Trump unsuccessfully organized The High Rollers, a group of wealthy CEOs interested in roller derby. The team disbanded after LEZZIE (The League of Embittered GirlZ Zipping around In Eye-makeup ) ruled that players with a history of more than one heart attack or two metal knee replacements were too much of a liability to the league. The High Rollers disbanded, only to form the GOP.

Trump declined to comment on his roller derby failure, but was rumored to adorn the rink names "The Whig Party" and "Never Tuopee it Forward."

Trump declined to comment on his roller derby failure, but was rumored to adorn the rink names “The Whig Party” and “Never Tuopee it Forward.”

But as roller derby teams pop up all over the heftier states, not everyone is enthused with the sport’s increasing popularity. Long-time member of the Young Tea Party Patriots, Rick Roll, says that the sport not only threatens traditional gender roles, but also the status quo, “Young women are finding pleasure outside of the domestic and work sphere. This is dangerous to maintaining gender and economic inequality. I blame Obama Care.” Earlier this fall, TMZ reported that Roll’s ex-girlfriend left him, shunned her upper class roots, adorned the rink name “Percy Slayer,” and  joined The Maple Sizzurps, a straight-edge roller derby team based out of Vermont. TMZ aired footage of the couple arguing over how much time Slayer was spending at practice instead of with Rick Roll. TMZ insiders recorded a brunch date between Roll and boyhood friend, Mark Zuckerberg, which during Roll whined to Zuckerberg: “Before ObamaCare, the only thing that I had to offer to women was a health insurance policy. Now what do I have to offer to them?!”

After the health care law passed, Lil' Wayne publicly endorsed Vermont derby team The Sizzurps. Roll immediately defriended him on Facebook.

After the health care law passed, Lil’ Wayne publicly endorsed Vermont derby team The Sizzurps. Roll immediately defriended him on Facebook.

But tea party men aren’t the only ones threatened by women’s increasing desire to act like men. Stay-at-home mom, Freda Felcher, shares Roll’s sentiment, “Call me conventional, but wouldn’t these women rather be at home with their families, scrolling Pinterest and making cake pops?” Last week, Felcher organized a group of “domestic engineers” to protest outside of popular Joliet derby rink “Rink Wormz.” Officials were called to the scene when derby girl PM Essence spiked Felcher’s pumpkin latte to the ground. Bystanders reported that Felcher shouted at Essence, “I paid four dollars for that!”

Many roller derby girls feel that the game’s controversy is part of the sport’s allure. AnitaWaxJob said that she grew up playing “boring soccer,” in which the most exciting event of the season would be “the team lesbian wearing a thong under her uniform shorts.” Players cite several league policies that contribute to the sport’s controversy, including rules that ban players who don’t listen to the Misfits and who haven’t had at least one abnormal pap smear. During pre-season deliberations, the league’s lowest ranking team from Mendocino County (coincidentally also named “The High Rollers”) petitioned league commissioners to lessen the number of required team practices.

Mendocino's High Rollers' team captain Lady Dreadfull unsuccessfully petitioned LEZZIE to reduce the amount of required team practices. According to commissioners, Dreadfull was 25 minutes late to deliberations.

Mendocino’s High Rollers’ team captain Lady Dreadfull unsuccessfully petitioned LEZZIE to reduce the amount of required team practices. According to commissioners, Dreadfull was 25 minutes late to deliberations.

When asked how her boyfriend handles her grueling practice schedule, TwoInTheStink from Madison’s 3 time regional champion team The Slambers says “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Perhaps a more significant controversial aspect of the sport is the small legion of derby girls interested in racially diversifying the league. Ravin’ Samoan and Scar TissueLanda of Trenton, New Jersey’s derby team “Sistas with the Parts of Mistas” consider their participation in roller derby as advocating racial equality in the sport. TissueLanda says the sport was once dominated by “skinny white bitches with hipster glasses.” The two have been actively recruiting players at apparel stores Maurice’s and Dots across the country.

Scar TissueLanda's game face.

Scar TissueLanda’s game face.

Like it or not, Roller Derby participation has skyrocketed. And the jury is still out as to whether a wealthy black man is the reason why women across America are dressing up like gutter skanks and jammin’ one another.

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Look at Me, All Humanitarian and Employed and Sh*t

29 May

Guess who’s entering the world of 40-hour-work-week chumps. This slut right here:

My slut face

That’s right. Get used to that face because it’ll be ridin’ dirty around your suburb in a pimped-out caddie shouting “C.R.E.A.M.” Ya’ heard me, right after graduation, I found myself a FT job. You know how us Capricorns do: straight-edge all hopped up on no other stimulants than productivity, good deeds, and hard work. F**k yes. I can’t wait to drive to work in my ’92 Toyota Camry that my parents bought me with a steaming cup of joe that Greg’s ma made me and feel all self-made and adult. F**k yeah. Running on self-sufficiency. I’m like Bill Gates without the one-inch d**k.

I’m pretty much walking on air right now. My biggest concern is if this job’s going to disturb my shit schedule. For the past 7 years, 8 a.m. has been poop not commute time. Other than that, I’m straighter than Marcus Bachmann. As a FT AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), I’ll be making a whopping $900 a month. What’s to worry about?

I’ll be making so much green, I’ll be able to chew it and spit it back out.

Not only will I be employed FT for a year, I’ll be serving my community like I’ve always wanted to, running between The Boys and Girls Club, the Workforce Development Center, and the local college working with other successful peeps to teach youngsters how to get as blinged out as us.

Aside from my poop schedule, I have some concerns. One being if Papa Murphy’s still takes food stamps. Because I’ll be eligible for them with my new post-grad-school job. I’ve already started a list of all the things that I will buy with my new job, the first a bus pass and the second, a vaporizer.

This is what I’ll look like with my new vaporizer, walking every day to the bus stop, and living on food stamps.

As for the real concerns, there are several.

I will enjoy my new job, the partial loan repayment that comes with it, its subsequent opportunities, and its limited span. Helping people is rad, but I’m not entirely selfless. This is a major concern. I have an ego. I hope that I will still have time to stroke it via writing and working on my pecs.

Stroking my ego, working on my pecs.

VISTA positions are considered 24/7 jobs– meaning that you have to be available 24/7, like being on call. Since pagers have been disassociated from drug lords, they no longer are cool. Not to mention that being on call should violate some labor rights law.

When I was 14, and more intuitive than I am today, I wanted to live in a tent on a different beach each month. I thought that happiness was being commander of your own dinghy. I knew that people could do the same thing, and the difference was whether they were obligated to or chose to do it. I was certain that behind the value of “responsibility” were unhappy people scared of the realization that they made decisions that enslaved them. In this vow to beach hop, I very buddhistly decided not to be a slave to possessions and desires.

But can I be commander of my own dinghy having a 24/7 job?

Commanding your own dinghy.

No one would ever accuse me of a lack of work ethic. But I’m plagued by this crazy kinda critical thinking and the absurd realizations that I won’t live forever and that I’m only a minuscule part of a magnificent span of time and space. Not being able to deny these things, becoming absorbed in work or humanitarian deeds seems stupid. A hard-working hedonist, I have dedicated the past 8 years of my life to attaining a lifestyle that doesn’t require much time and responsibility. I have worked very hard to be able to work very little.

And so I wonder, being fully aware that there is no time like the present, should I have  held off for a higher paying, a more selfish, or a less time-consuming job to bask in during one of my last years as an ultra-hip twenty-something? Something like an editor of a thriving newspaper or an investigative journalist for one of the many hard-hitting news sources? Perhaps a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model?

Attempt at swimsuit model. I was going for the sandy look.

Realizing the separation between delusions of grandeur and reality is tough. To appease any right-wingers reading this, of course I am enthused just to have a job and don’t expect much pay from a govt. job. 🙂 But to the rest who happen to be critical thinkers (you heathens), really, this is what 8 years of Asperger school-focus gets me?

I’ve never been one for the money. But I have been one for the show. I do like status. And this job comes with status, just not the artsy, Mensa kind that I want and have earned with my Ivy league education and many publications. I do know that seeking jobs that have status, like jobs that are rewarding, is a privilege to those who can afford to be picky about jobs. My parents didn’t have that luxury and they worked hard so that their kids could (cue Bruce Springsteen). If my dad wasn’t laid off without a pension 2 years before retirement, I would almost say that I believe in the American Dream. But it’s a crock pot full of hot shit.

My working-class immigrant dad and entitled me, believing in the American Dream.

Another one of my absurd realizations is that even though I may live forever, others may not. And while a lot of my friends are traveling the world, searching for their true selves (that totally exists, *wink), I’m happy that this new job lets me live near my family. I used to think that I had to live in Nepal for a year to have some wondrous revelation (see Eat Pray Love). Thanks to hallucinogens, I don’t have to leave my parents’ basement to do this.

Another concern, it starts mid-July, my without-a-doubt fave time of the year. Maybe you don’t understand this if you live in a climate that is warm year-round, but being stuck inside during Wisconsin’s two nice months blows chodes. Plus, having to wear underwear when it’s hot makes me all yeasty. Having summers off is part of the reason why I thought I wanted to be a teacher. In addition to, like, helping kids.

Steamy under-carriage in July.

I now semi live by the principles that I had when I was 14. I could afford to live on my own, in a shit hole nonetheless without digital cable, but that’d require not being able to spend freely on food, booze, and hookers. I’d rather tolerate minor discomforts, like watching Greg’s dad eat a whole Kringle in a day and not gain weight, than slave to live in a studio apartment. Obviously, Greg and I are lucky to have parents that let us live with them in our “recessions homes,” but if we didn’t have this option, we’d live with a house-full of crusty losers to save on rent.

Someone crusty who I lived with.

Hesitant but happy, I’m collapsing all categories. I’ve finished my thesis and found a job. From here on out, it’ll just be musings from the dark side that occupies hedonism and humanitarianism, mania and slump. Quips from someone ruled by Saturn and its contradictions, who knows that you can only find peace within and not outside of the chaos. A post-modern in service to America, who, despite better judgement, still believes in an authentic, self-made existence. And rims as fat as my ass.

Sometimes When I Sit Down Too Fast I Get a Whiff of My Crotch

25 Apr

I’ve rushed through a lot of things. I finished school in 3.5 years. At 5 years old, I pretended that my bedroom was an NYC loft fit for an advertising exec. And sometimes I eat a whole box of dry cereal in one sitting. Oops All Berries preferably.

I like to go fast. Stop signs really mean yield, and if you’re just going to cruise, get the f**k off the bike and walk.

But every time I quickly finish something, I become plagued with “now what?” Not having a project, a distractor, a problem can be terrifying. I’m scared of the Dixie Chics’ wide open spaces.

The passage of time is more noticeable when project-less. And time, that MFer, is the only thing that moves faster than me.

When I go too fast, I get whiffs of my mortality, of my body’s eventual demise to rot and smell like tuna, roses, and raw dough. So I’ve become a master manipulator of time, vacillating from one extreme of road runner to tortoise.

I do some things slowly, like eating pasta dishes with pink sauce and finishing this GD’d, I can-no-longer-mutter-the-word, thesis.

I was originally going to submit this paper plague on May 14th to be a Spring graduate. My advisor and advising panel need more time to review it. They want me to submit it by June 22nd to be an August graduate. Well F me in the A.

The best part of a project is the sense of completion. This gratification has been robbed from me several times in the past years. All related to academic endeavors. I don’t like to revise; I don’t like to go back; don’t lose my Teacher Ed observation logs and require me to re-do the hours. I’d rather be done with an F than go back for an A.

Should I enjoy the process more? Maybe. I delay pleasure pretty well. But when the process entails getting all Asbergers and Asian over dangling modifiers, I’ll pass. When the process saves me from “now what,” I’ll stage 7 cling.

So now I walk across the stage in May knowing that I haven’t quite yet submitted my T-word. And what’s the big deal? I’ll just take off my gown and sit down to conjugate. My name will just appear under August and not May. Excuse me for wanting to jive with May, during the season of renewal. Symbolism and metaphor is important to me. August– an impending harvest and greenery decomposition. Ugh.

I’m being forced to take it slow, perhaps to avoid unpleasantries such as split infinitives and “now what.” I’m being robbed of my original plan and vision. Control freak? So? Inflexible? I did gymnastics.

Last night I dreamt that I had two consecutive c-sections. But these c-sections were the kind where they slice you length-wise from sternum to pubis, when you’re conscious, and with a desk fan attached to your ass. You know the kind, right? Some say dreaming of birth means death but I say: baby=thesis (born again, belabored, rushed delivery); consciousness=pain, trials; fan=accelerator/deodorizer/master deluder.

There are two ways to avoid crotch whiffs: 1. Slow down or (2) Don’t sit down. The answer, as most answers are, lies in a Boston song. The long intro (lyrics at 2:45) is metaphorical, of course. As is the song title. In short: I’m going to keep moving, just at a slower pace, relinquishing my false sense of control.

Ordering a Graduation Gown Two Sizes Too Small: Impending Ass Tat

14 Apr

I didn’t plan on attending my graduation ceremony. It’s at 9 a.m. on a Sunday. And it’s for a 2-year program that I stretched into 5. But then Greg’s dad (Glenn) convinced me into going.

It wasn’t all the noise about my parents being proud, blah blah. It was when Glenn told me that grad students wear hoods at their ceremony (and yes, we are allowed to eat Skittles as well.) Apparently, grad students get attachable hoods for their gowns. Each different major has a different color hood. The Media Studies one is crimson. Boom. I was sold.

But the hood might be the only thing that fits.

When ordering your gown, you have to submit your weight and height. Before I could think about it, I impulsively entered 120 lbs.– 20 lbs. less than my real weight. Why? Partially because gowns are god-awfully penguin-like and hideously too big. But mainly because, in my jelly bean riddled mind, I thought it would be good motivation to stop binge eating.

I say it with humor, but my name is Anna and I am a binge eater. I’ve had odd relationships with food since I was eight. I’m a binge eater in a binge-purge society. Like a good consumer, I indulge freely. And like any upwardly mobile *sneer*, educated 20-something, I purge with lots of squats and lunges. And my body reflects it. There’s a reason why there’s only head shots of me on this blog. My head is the purge. My body is the binge.

 

I’ve tried lots of things to not use food and exercise for reasons other than nourishment and occasional pleasure (Costanza wanted to incorporate food in the bedroom too. So what?) Like a true soft, non-substance addict, tomorrow is always a better day to start.

I knew the gown wouldn’t be enough motivation. So I had to raise the marbleized, aged steaks. Like any competitive Capricorn, I agreed to a bet– a “fitness pact” if you will– a come hell or high water race to the bottom of the Cracker Barrel.

This is my competition, Denny Lenny Lucifer:

And this is what he wants to convert into muscle:

Neither of us necessarily want to lose weight. Like I said, D.L.L. wants to convert flab to muscle and I just want to stop bingeing. We struggled to come up with a fair assessment and agreed on measuring lost BMI at the end of the next 30 days. But the fun part is the loser’s consequence: a tattoo on his/her ass chosen by the winner.

Because I think portrait tats usually end up looking scary-as-fu*k, my initial thought for Denny’s hinder was a portrait of his ma. He fired back with a portrait of Richard Simmons. Yes, of course I countered with Gene Simmons.

The pact was supposed to start yesterday, on Friday the 13th. I even wrote a contract that eventually was used as a coaster. We have agreed to start this Monday. Denny’s wife (Erin) and Greg agreed to be enforcers and relayers of truth, documented by the following:

Wish me luck.

How A&E’s Intervention Helps Me Finish My Thesis

2 Apr

This is how I celebrated my advisor’s recent approval of my last draft:

By watching 8 hours of A&E’s Intervention. One of my fave episodes follows Robbie from the R&B trio City High. Yeah, they had a 2001 one hit wonder about a lady who strips to support her son. Yes, this was my jam:

Robbie and fellow band mate Claudette fell in sultry, R-Kelly love. But Claudette left Robbie for the other band dude. She did him dirty, TLC Creepin’ style. He struggled with the rejection and his alcoholism was depicted as a result of this struggle.

Disclaimer: Addiction is serious and not something to joke about. I don’t intend to do this. But I don’t want to include any more disclaimers in this post. I’m a sensitive person god dammit. I get it.

There are 11 seasons of Intervention and I’m about half-way through all of the episodes. I feel that the lyrics to this City High song hit the major themes of Intervention: trauma, poverty, and tough love.

“Me and my sister ran away so my daddy couldn’t rape us:”

I have yet to see one episode that doesn’t depict trauma as a culprit for self-destructive behavior. There are episodes in which the main subject says s/he had an ideal childhood and grew up with little complication, but then something went awry in another leg of their life.

No one can deny the hardship of rape, abuse, divorce, etc. But I would like to see an episode with an addict who is straight up like, “I like crack because it makes me feel good. And that’s it.” You know this happens.

I’m not a Scientologist, but also not the biggest fan of psychology. Sometimes minor traumas (like an overbearing Italian dad) only become problems when someone tells us they are. Lay off, psychology.

“The only way to feed him is to sleep with a man for a little bit of money.”

Most of the Intervention subjects aren’t rich. There are some who once were and lost their fortunes to addiction. If the subjects had money, their families would be less likely to ask a network to help with an intervention and to provide treatment.

It’s easy to say that shows like this exploit the ill and perpetuate a fascination with taboo, but it’s hard to deny that they do some good. Sure, they can offer the treatment without the coverage, but how would they generate the cash to do so? It’s complicated, I know.

“Get up on my feet and let go of every excuse.”

Greg loves to impersonate interventionist Jeff VanVonderen. There are four interventionists on the show who have a script for the meetings. Jeff mentions people “loving you like crazy” and Candy Finnegan usually says something like, “Your family loves you, but they’re not going to love you to death.”

The interventionists stress to the family that they have to make and keep ultimatums– that they shouldn’t wait for the loved one to hit rock bottom, but they should raise the bottom.

It’s arguable how ethical this approach is. Manipulative, maybe. But the goal is to get the addict to treatment. And, on the show, treatment seems to work for the most part.

Wanting things to be black and white, I would like to be able to say that the show does either good or bad. But it does a little bit of both. For me, it provides a nice little break from writing about anorexics and neoliberalism. I have a month and a week to finish my thesis. I figured that about two episodes of Intervention a day can get me through.

Closed-off Milwaukeeans, Fun Gays and Other Generalizations

26 Mar

This weekend I came across several generalizations. I don’t know if or how generalizations and stereotypes are different. Stereotypes, usually involving race, ethnicity, sex, etc., sound more harmful. Generalizations can be too, but maybe a little less. I don’t know. I claim no expertise. Of anything. I’m just a woman. But  since “stereotypes” sound much worse, I’m staying the hell away from them because most blog-reading fans of new media are ultra PC.

There is both truth and fallacy to this weekend’s generalizations:

1. Beer drinking isn’t classy. (False). Beer has become associated with heavy drinking, swill-guzzling, high-fiving and burping frat boys. Maybe it’s because beer’s cheap and is usually slammed or drunken in bulk. Perhaps it’s because of all of those late 80s and 90s commercials with pool-side babes in weird neon bikinis that look like those balloons on rubber bands that you smack against your palm. I don’t know. But when most people think beer (by “most people” I mean those not as enlightened to the finer side of ale as Wisconsinites are) they think of Homer Simpson.

Beer indeed can be classy. With the right environment and drinking utensil (like a chalice), a wheaty whistle-wetter can rival any Yellow Tail Zinfandel. Sorry PBR and Schlitz, you’re excluded from this.

This weekend I imbibed with a $6 glass of Southern Tier Creme Brule stout. It’s rare that I find anything too sweet or too rich, but this definitely was. I’m not sure what I was thinking getting it after dinner (Yes, I do– it was if I have this then maybe I won’t want dessert, which didn’t happen), but it was much too much.

Nonetheless, carrying it back to our booth in a wannabe English pub, I felt both classy and high culture– kinda like the Dos Equis guy. And I realized that if  the content of something excludes it from classy classification, the usage of it can bring it back. It’s not classy to have 6 of anything– beer, homes, or kids.

One thing that I hate as much as sloppy drunks are buffets– or more accurately the buffet mentality. As a self-professed binge eater, I feel a little hypocritical saying this (but I’m working on it), why such compulsive consumption?

While food and drink may be the least offensive when it comes to greedy consumption, a general rule can be applied: moderation may alleviate overconsumption. I’ll try too.

2. Gays and cross dressers are fun. Verifiable with the following pic:

3. Milwaukeeans have “closed-off” personalities (Not sure).

This may not be a well-known generalization, but interesting nonetheless.

For my thesis, I’m reading Nicole Johns’ Purge: Rehab Diaries. It chronicles her experience with bulimia and her treatment at Rogers Memorial Treatment Center in Oconomowoc, WI (one of the best in the country). Nicole Johns is originally from Pennsylvania and in one scene in the book, she talks with a fellow Pennsylvanian about “the closed-off personalities” of Milwaukeeans.

This is not the first time that I’ve heard such a thing. A woman who I went to school with in Milwaukee expressed similar sentiment. Originally from Michigan and having travelled all over the world with her indie music act (living in Boston and Atlanta), by no means did she dislike Milwaukeeans (she made several lifelong friends here) but felt that Brew City dwellers, while friendly and social, were a little hesitant to open up to new people and ideas.

Not only has my friend and several other students suggested this about Milwaukeeans, but so has England’s Cambridge University. The university conducted a 6-year study (published in 2008) that looks at U.S. residents by state, ranking them on extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.

While Wisconsinites ranked second for extraversion and fifth for agreeableness, it ranked 47th for openness (described as intellectual and creative curiousness).

Maybe it’s the cold winters that keep Milwaukeeans inside. Perhaps the reticence of Scandinavian and Germanic cultures? Maybe this explains the large consumption of beer…

4. All Subaru drivers are crunchy liberals. (True): Notice the bumper sticker.

5. All speeders have to take shits. (True):

6. All flowers are pretty. (Partially True). I’ve never came across an ugly flower, but the context matters. This weekend we watched Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. SPOILER ALERT! Melancholia is about a family’s last days together before a blue planet (called Melancholia) collides with earth and ends human life as we know it. Greg thought that it was a metaphor for the main character’s deteriorating mental state. I thought that it was for real– in the movie and maybe a little bit in real life. I do think that the human race will someday end, but just not this year. Or the next.

Anyway, in the film, because the “attacking” planet was blue, it cast a blue hue over earth. I thought that it was rather pretty and really enjoyed the movie (much better than Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto), despite it mildly heightening my apocalypse fears. Which only worsened when we stepped outside after watching.

Near dusk, an oddly similar blue hue was settling. Kinda like right before a tornado warning goes off. Ever-so-logical Greg described it as “night falling.” After snapping this pic of early bush blossoms (with no lighting effects), I totally did not run inside and order a telescope. I swear.

7. There are no new stories, only the same recycled ones. (True).

8. Thongs and low-rise jeans are sexy. (False). Well maybe separately they are, but not together. I guess the only thing that saved this phil’s classlessness was the dark beer that she was drinking out of a chalice.

Thesis Defended, Moving On

8 Mar

Yesterday I successfully defended my thesis. A thesis defense meeting entails presenting your thesis to your committee: usually your advisor and two other professors who do related work. It takes about an hour and has been, what I now realize, the cause of sleepless nights. The first time I TAd in 2007, I passed out in front of the class wearing a skirt and my male roommate’s band shirt. (I left my bag of tops at home.) Borderline social anxiety, maybe. So yeah, I’ve come a long way

Driving up to the meeting, I realized that it might be one of my last times on campus. Maybe it was all the mellow, reflective radio music, particularly this Gotye song “Somebody That I Used to Know” which I’m especially digging.

But I got more reflective than usual. Think placid lake in direct sunlight.

A friend and I recently had a conversation that ended with his affirmation that “the only reason people don’t do what they want is because they truly don’t want to do it.” I’ve heard this sentiment before and have never found it shatteringly insightful. But as my thesis completion nears, so does the end of the past five years. And I realize that, despite liking to think of myself as a ship without an anchor, I have been having a hard time letting something go. I just don’t know exactly what it is.

Recalling another conversation with a friend, one of whom has had much more hardship than myself, I am reminded of my tendency to be a drama queen. But not in the traditional sense. I don’t like the kind of drama that is popularly referred to as “drama”–like he-said-she-said, baby mama drama blah blah. But this second friend alerted me to my tendency of maximizing minor issues. Why would I do this? To have a tangible “problem” on which to project a general anxiety, melancholy, or feeling of blase. Duh.

That thing, that maximized problem, has been my thesis. Had I finished it earlier, onto what would I have transferred undesirable feelings?

I had a lot of excuses to not finish this thing earlier: going back to get a teaching license, having to change advisors, a super-demanding teaching assistantship, and so forth. Yesterday, realizing that I actually can and am going to finish this, the falseness of these excuses was illuminated.

Being my only connection to the past 5 years, its places, people, and earlier version of myself, I didn’t want to finish my thesis. At the same time as I realized my difficulty in letting go, I realized the simplicity of  the project. I was convincing myself that I couldn’t do it for reasons other than the task’s actual difficulty.

It’s harder than I thought to accept  the easiness of my life, to let go, and even harder to separate nostalgia from genuine like. I thought about what I really liked about the place and if I want to go back. I realized that I think fondly of my earlier self not because I had less problems but because I had more hope for the seemingly more distant future. Now I just know that it is here.