Saturday

Problems With Writing a Dissertation

I'm writing a dissertation. It's supposed to be done by now, but I am an epic procrastinator and it's Not (for reference, please note that I am totally writing a blog post about writing the dissertation rather than writing the dissertation). I rationalize this by telling myself that I'm better on a deadline. Which is totally true.

Anyway, the dissertation is... coming along, we'll just say.

Normal morning:
I make smart. 

As you can see (if you've been thorough enough to read the make-believe titles on the make-believe books) that my dissertation is, at least in part, about the Minotaur.

Which, if you're wondering, is awesome.
and I would like a salad. Srsly. Bulls are herbivores, assholes.
I suppose the problem begins there, because the Minotaur part of the project is super fun and easy, but there are a whole lot more words to write around, and in addition to, that one bit.

Which starts making me a little edgy. Because, well... because I have to sound super smart. Because dissertations are formal, and are evaluated by a committee of Very Smart People with Multiple Degrees and Jobs and Stuff (my chair actually used the word syzygy in her comments, which I have never seen anyone use, ever. Badass.) and I can't say 'fuck' or 'King Minos was kind of a dick,' not even once, even though it's true. 

No, it has to look more like this:
Always add latin if you want to sound smart.

Writing a novel, on the other hand, is a remarkably different process. Novels are fun and you can sit in the same position for days while your hair gets weirder and weirder and in your (crazy-haired) head, battles are raging and people are falling in and out of love and discovering stuff like neato hidden swords and prophecies and dead kings are being resurrected and fighting with fallen angels and so on and so forth*.

*Note: this all happens in my book, which will be published someday, Minotaur willing. 



As I said before: it's fun. 

Whereas dissertationLand is more like: 

Phase 1: Out of  words.

Phase 2: MELT. DOWN.



Phase 3: RUN AWAY


And this is why my dissertation isn't finished yet. 



The End. 









Sunday

Buzzards of Justice

On one of the last days of our vacation in Crete, Captain Awesomepants and I decided to go to the Dikteon* Cave. 

This is not an important detail, though I will say that the cave was very nice if you like that sort of thing. I found it to be dark and it smelled a bit like poo, mold, and squicky wet things. There were lots of creepy crawlies (both imagined and real) and on the way up the donkey track (literal) /path Cpt Awesomepants informed me that he'd just remembered that he hated caves, which might have been prudent to inform me of that morning when we were planning our day.


But, seeing how we were already halfway there, he persevered and lived to tell the tale.


Moving on.


The drive UP (also literal) to the Dikteon cave was quite harrowing, as it is up a mountainside cliff-face road that consists of barely-there switchbacks that lack sensible things like guardrails and I'm really rather afraid of heights. I'm afraid of a lot of things, but heights make me extra jumpy and I have to keep talking lest the fear make my head explode or fall off or push me into having a standard, run-of-the-mill panic attack, which– if you've ever had one– you'll know just isn't that relaxing. So I was babbling. This is where my story begins.



I asked Cpt Awesomepants what kind of animal he would be if he could be anything and he was all: raven, because ravens are neato and stuff.* This is a summary. There are a lot of other things he said but I was very busy at that point with doing my calming breath.


And then he asked me what kind of animal I'd be, and without thinking I'm all: A BUZZARD.


I don't really know why I said it at first. Usually whenever that question is asked, the answer is inevitably something predatory and all sexy-like such as lion or tiger or puma or wolf or hawk or eagle or bantha and no one ever says if I was an animal I'd be a fruit bat! Or a dairy cow. Moooo, motherfucker. 


Not me though. Apparently I just want to be a buzzard.

I am Roger. Roger the Buzzard.

Then I got into the idea. Because if I had to be a buzzard (you can't change your mind, fake animal-dream-wise– it's a permanent decision), then at least I would be a smart buzzard, with higher-than-average buzzard IQ. 




Buzzarding things to do for fun, if you are a particularly intelligent and methodical type of buzzard: 


1. Restaurants: 


Imagine a nice spring evening at a cafe. Couples and families are sitting outside on the patio having dinner and drinking wine and talking about interesting things and all of a sudden a giant buzzard lands at the table.




Squawk squawk.


Sparrows and songbirds are cute and sometimes people throw them crumbs, but a buzzard? 

Buzzards are usually only present either when something has died and begun to smell bad or when something is dying, like in all those western movies when the hero is stumbling through the desert looking up through the heat waves at the buzzards that are circling and you know it's only a matter of time. 

The association is generally a very negative one. 

If I was a human, I'd run away, too. 

Only I'd be the buzzard, so I'd eat the food they left. Waste not, want not and all. 


I think after a few years of this, though, I'd develop a conscience.  


So I would move on to more respectable buzzarding activities, or at least activities that I felt would make up for the years of free food and terror I caused. 


2. I would scare the hell, very specifically, out of assholes. 



That is a tree branch, and yes I am aware that it looks like something else. 
Call them what you will. Jerkfaces, sociopaths, my ex-boyfriends... There's always one running for political office somewhere, or trying out a new ponzi scheme on a host of unsuspecting people, or heading up Monsanto's legal team. 

I'd find them. 


I feel it would be my buzzard duty. And they might not notice at first, but even someone who is generally oblivious to their surroundings
 is eventually going to notice a fifty pound*, red-headed, sharp-beaked, squarking buzzard pacing them. 



*I don't actually know how much buzzards weigh, on average, I just think that if I was a buzzard I'd be huge. I'd eat my buzzard Wheaties. 

I've never been stalked by a buzzard before, but I can imagine it would be a harrowing experience. 


My target, thinking I was only a buzzard and probably just confused, would go home where it's safe and buzzard-free. They'd have a drink and abuse the cat or whatever it is they do (I imagine the head of Monsanto's legal team spends at least an hour every evening rubbing his hands together while laughing like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons) and then go to bed. Bed is safe. Buzzards are silly, they'd think, happy in their certainty that the buzzard-stalking moment was a single, isolated incident, unlikely to be repeated. 


And that's where they'd be wrong. 


I'd sit patiently outside their window and wait until the morning came, when they foolishly opened the blinds expecting just another sunshine-y, happy, buzzard-free day in which they can continue being complete D-bags to everyone and everything around them. 




3. NO. No, I say unto you, NO. 


Once they called animal control I'd leave, but animal control can't be around all the time, and I'd keep just out of distance while maintaining visual contact as much as I could, so that even if I wasn't there being all giant and buzzard-y, they'd think I was. They'd never feel safe again. 


Because they wouldn't be

At this point, I think the extra satisfaction of providing vigilante buzzard justice would've given me an extra long life. I would have far outlived the standard buzzard life expectancy of 21 years (even surpassing Nero, the famous in-captivity turkey vulture who lived to be 37). I'd be somewhere between 50 and IMMORTAL. 

And I'd probably have a following, being that I would be massive and ancient and always have a good idea as to what to do with the day. I would be LORD OF THE BUZZARDS, and other buzzards would come from miles to be in my pack of awesomeness and justice. Because though flying around dead carcass all day is fun, stalking dirtbags is far more so. 



Not what you expect at work, generally. 
Because everyone knows the only thing more terrifying than being stalked by a single dinosaur-buzzard is being stalked by a flock of twenty. 

You'd go outside at lunch and there would be buzzards circling. You'd go to your car and notice with dismay that it was covered in buzzard poo. You'd go home and there'd be a buzzard on your front porch, staring at you with big buzzard eyes and saying 'squark' repeatedly, which of course you wouldn't understand, but you'd get the feeling that it was trying to tell you something, which would be true. 

The buzzard would be telling you to get your shit together. Stop being such an asshole. 

Because the Buzzards of Justice are always watching.





BUZZARDS OF JUSTICE


We would have t-shirts and stickers and probably a website, and the villains of the world would tremble in fear when they heard the telltale flapping of wings. 

Justice has come for you, evil-doer. Justice and copious amounts of bird poo. You will never be clean again, ever. EVER. 






I mean, if you have to be a buzzard, at least you can use your powers for good. 





*Dikteon Cave: Cave which was reputed to be the place where Zeus survived his childhood.**


**He survived because there are loud birds at the entrance, and they would make enough noise to drown out his cries so that the Angry/Hungry Dad Unit, Cronos, couldn't hear him.***


***This was necessary because Cronos was super hungry and ate all his children because of a prophecy that one day, one of his offspring would overthrow him. You know, like you do.****


****Btw, that totally happened. Yay Zeus! Way to survive. The end. 

Thursday

We Did Not Die! Yaaaay!!

Excerpts from my conversation with Captain Awesomepants during a rather eventful* cab ride through Athens:

(this first part is written. We were passing notes via the iPhone notes app so that our driver couldn't hear us)

me: What's with the teeth sucking??

Cpt Pants: That's what meth addicts do.

me: oHHhhhh


5 minutes later:

Cpt Pants: You know I love you, right?

me: You think we're going to die, don't you? Are you telling me this because you think we're going to die?

Cpt Pants: YES. Yeah. Pretty much.


The good news is that We Did Not Die in a fiery ball of Greek taxi cab somewhere along the Athens highway, which is nice. Instead, we got a 45 minute ride through the depths of Athens from a 6.5 foot tall, tooth-sucking, twitchy, chain-smoking, meth-head whose car shook, rattled, vibrated and carried on very much like a car that is about to explode the entire way (especially when going over, say, 35 mph. As most of the drive was conducted in either LIGHT SPEED MODE or stopped, it was like getting a massage from an evil robot).

It was fun if you like near-death experiences, but mostly it was petrifying. He kept trying to talk to us but his English wasn't very good and our Greek is non-existent so the conversations were extremely short (You like Greece? Yes, we like Greece! ......) Also, he kept texting and answering his phone which has a dampening effect on banter. And I'm not sure how it is in his world, but in mine the person on the other side of the cell phone can't actually see you when you talk to them. Because you are talking to them on the cell phone. I think in his world he might have had some idea that whoever he was talking to could see him, which would explain the constant and manic gesticulating at the phone.

As I said, fun if you like near-death experiences. He tried to convince us to call him so he could give us a ride to the airport the next day and we were all: no it's cool! We'll walk. 40 miles is nothing!


Anyway, safe and sound in the Athens hotel, then an easy and air conditioned cab ride to the airport yesterday by a very nice man who told us the history of Crete. Now we're in Crete. And I have internet. Happy day.









*by which I mean: fucking terrifying. 

Monday

The Great France Adventure: Day ?

The problem with drinking wine with lunch is that is highly de-motivating.

sigh.






Life is hard. 

Saturday

Chamonix has fondue

Cheese fondue is awesome, until it is Not Awesome At All.


Currently in the Not Awesome phase. Barfing might occur.