Sunday, March 25, 2007


  1. Why am I tinkering and adding a conclusion to Chapter 2 when I should be working on the Introduction, which is a vast state of un-readiness?
  2. Why do I now really want a tuna fish sandwich? (Okay, that one was easy. It's Dr. Crazy's fault. Though I really should write at least one post soon where I don't reference her. She's going to thing I'm a blogstalker. Which I am. At least I am one of her posse.)
  3. Why is reading about other people working on their dissertations and writing projects so much more fabulous than actually working on my own, considering I actually do occasionally like my topic? (Cool sites I have found lately and recommend: Adjunct Whore's Narratives, Eating an Elephant's dissertation advice, and Minor Revisions.)
  4. Why did I give my mother advice when this traditionally causes trouble? (She called me as I was getting ready to leave the house. Basically, she doesn't want to get up out of bed in the morning, every little thing is weighing on her, and she has no perspective on when people are being unreasonable. I told her the clinical term for that is depression. I also told her that she needs to get a project, because she is a major project person, has been all my life, teaching herself cool and weird things like languages and how to write songs and everything there is to know about Crete. She says that she thinks these things may be escapes from whatever really is wrong. I said that what if whatever "really is wrong" maybe can't be fixed, that the problem with psychoanalysis is that it makes you think that you'd be okay if only you could fix your problems. Meanwhile it makes you feel like shit about yourself for being all fucked up. And instead of stopping there, having totally insulted the therapy that she has depended on for her sense of self for her whole life, I then went on for some existential musing, which is not what I ever should be doing with my mother. I told her how life is essentially meaningless and one has to make, not find, meaning. Being depressed is just coming up for air from however you're spending your life and realizing that life has no intrinsic meaning and needing to take time out to reassess how you're spending your life. Theorists on happiness, I said, though really I meant Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, found that people were happy when they had flow experiences and lost self-consciousness and a sense of time. Maybe her projects are what life is about after all. Need I say she didn't want to talk about it anymore? But I was on a roll, because the whole thing became a philosophical treatise for me. Where do I get this shit? And when, oh when, will I ever learn to shut the fuck up. She just wanted me to sympathize, for god's sakes! I need WSF back here pronto. Clearly, I need my usual existential philosophical outlet. I think the fact that she started the conversation by saying in her mouse voice "so I guess I won't see you" when I said I was going to The Fam's for the weekend was what started it. She lives 360 miles away from Urban Home City. If she wanted to arrange something, why ask me now?)
  5. Why after recounting that whole story do I still want a sandwich or a salad? It's hot and sunny outside -- why am I not in it? Why am I working? Why do I have to go back to it right now? Oh yeah, because I wanted to hand PA a big wad of dissertation crap. Couldn't it rain? Please?


Sisyphus said...

You keep finding things for me to procrastinate with! Why? Why? Why? Don't you know that dissertation-advice pages are like kryptonite to me? Aiggh!

In other news, hello! if I haven't said hello to you already.

gwoertendyke said...

i feel genuinely thrilled to have been cited and since i have no article published as of yet, this is my first and only time--thanks ernesto!

obviously you and i are in similiar mental spaces as i am blogging, reading blogs, and generally tinkering rather than actually working on my diss, due in full april 15th!!! despite my sincere sense of dread, it's comforting to know i'm not alone out there. so thanks.

post-doc said...

Given that I spent time reading about your writing projects instead of forcing myself to create text for my chapter, I'll say that there might just be days when reading blogs is much more appealing than professional writing. I have many, many, many such days. :) Congrats on the dissertation progress so far - I'll look forward to hearing more.