Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Just Where The Hell I Have Been

I turned in both of my papers yesterday. It was much easier for me this time than it was the last time I had two papers due on the same day, less because I had done it before than because I cared about them differently than last time. I say "differently" because last term I had the weird experience of having one class that I thought was brilliant - I had strong opinions which were typically diametrically opposed to everyone else in the class and a massive crush on my teacher, and the other class that I spent every single moment of wishing "class" was something you could stab in the face. So when it was paper time, I was riled up and excited to write a paper on the UK's extreme pornography ban and why it is a load of complete and utter bullshit, and the other paper...well, I just gave no fuck whatsoever about that paper, so I just filled it with buzzwords like "discourse" and "paradigm" and my person favorite "lived experience" and turned it in. I had done the exact same thing on the annotated bibliography I'd had to write for the class earlier in the term and received a merit for it so I figured, you know, fuck it.

I now need to begin work on my dissertation, a task that would be much easier if I had ANY IDEA AT ALL what to write it on. My first instinct was, of course, Fifty Shades seeing as I am apparently one of the world's leading experts on how bad it sucks. But "Fifty Shades of Grey: No Seriously, What the Fuck?" is not an appropriate or even reasonably narrow topic and also the main piece of advice on picking a dissertation topic seems to be "pick something you like because you're going to eat, sleep and breathe that fucking subject for the next six months" and I think we've pretty well established that Fifty Shades of Grey is decidedly NOT something I like. I like being semi-internet famous for creative swearing and pushed to the top of reddit lists, but that is not likely to factor into dissertation research so much. So anyway, about three weeks from now I need to turn in a dissertation proposal roughly the length of a module essay on something to do with "gender" or "sexuality" and I have precisely ZERO thoughts on what that topic should be. SO I;ve got that going for me.

Now, since it's been so long, let me switch topics on you entirely and go back to complaining about my adopted country. Which I LOVE by the way - I know I complain about how homesick I am and how everything is too "not-America", but I do genuinely love it here (the sheep across the river had some lambs and I can hear them from my bedroom and the lambs run around all cute and small and then randomly jump up in the air for NO REASON and it is fantastic; in related nature news, the two gay ducks (we think they are gay because they are both boys and are never, ever more than about three feet from one another so they are obviously a couple) that hang out in our marina have taken to coming right up to the kitchen door begging from bread and one of them will eat it right out of your hand). Having said that, I would now like to complain bitterly about Easter and daytime television.

As Easter approached, I asked StereoNinja why the stores had put out all of the Easter basket stuff yet and was greeted with a blank stare followed by "what is an Easter basket?" Because Easter baskets are NOT A THING. You know what you get here? A chocolate egg. One. THAT IS IT. And unlike a chocolate bunny, that egg is hollow, my friends. It probably has less total chocolate volume than a regular candy bar. In Chicago I made StereoNinja buy real Easter baskets with real Easter basket stuff for his children because I found the situation so unacceptable. But wait, there's more! Even worse than that atrocity is the fact the coloring Easter eggs is ALSO NOT A THING. I just...I don't even...WHY DON'T YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO HAVE ANY FUN, ENGLAND? So I bought the Paas color cups when we were in Chicago so as to show StereoNinja & Spawn (TM) what they were missing. And then immediately ran into another problem: all the eggs are brown. Finding a white chicken egg in this country is harder than finding a burrito. I eventually figured out that Whole Foods in Kensington was selling them, but not until AFTER they had already sold out. StereoNinja went and got some white duck eggs from somewhere, which I discovered don't really work as they are quite translucent and not nearly as permeable. Plus then you have a house full of duck eggs which I'm not sure what you're supposed to do with. So apart from the fantastic ham I made, Easter was a kind of a disaster.

Now then: being a full time graduate student and not having a job means that I spend a lot of time at home during the day with the television on in the background for some noise so I don't go crazy and I have to say, there is NOTHING ON TELEVISION DURING THE DAY. Seriously, nothing worth watching unless you count Top Gear reruns I've seen a thousand times. Mainly all there seems to be are episodes of Charmed and an Australian soap opera call Neighbours. Everyone else at home in the day must be bored too, because what I really wanted to complain about is the sheer volume of commercials for a. online casinos and b. predatory loan companies. It is pretty much ALL they advertise during the day, one right after another. I can't help feeling like these things are related, and that they are preying on the weak as I would assume a significant percentage of the daytime television audience is made up of people who are out of work. Frankly, I think that's pretty shitty and I'm not sure why that's being allowed but watching BDSM torture porn on the internet in your own home is is not.

Coming up: Things I did in Chicago, as soon as I can remember what those things are.

12 comments:

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Easter eggs are wonderful! Punch that thing until it cracks open, yum!

amberance said...

Oh they're totally fine...unless you're used to a solid chocolate bunny and a basket full of other chocolate. And jellybeans. And Peeps. And toys.It's basically Christmas but pink and purple.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

American chocolate isn't really chocolate ;-)

Chris W said...

Um, everyone at home during the day is watching Neighbours. And Countdown. And Deal or No Deal. And if they're not, they should be.

Laurie Modica said...

I say combine your interests for the dissertation: The stigma attached to women enjoying sex.

Dr Norf said...

Ha, my English fella hadn't painted Easter Eggs until we started dating two years ago either. He loves it now, you can get white eggs (I can't remember what bird) from some halal shops if you are willing to hunt a bit.


I think you should ponder doing your dissertation on the nature of advertising in the UK.

Hannah said...

"I say combine your interests for the dissertation: The stigma attached to women enjoying sex." -

I wouldn't have thought of it but second the suggestion.

I read an article recently about "slut-shaming" and some of the gender-bias opinions were terrifying.

amberance said...

PAS: You have never tasted Ghirardelli (chocolatier out of California) I take it. Because, seriously, holy shit.

amberance said...

CW. I'll give you Countdown IF there are no reruns of QI on, but NO on the Neighbours. Just, no.

amberance said...

Laurie/Hannah - I actually had the exact same reaction as Hannah, this is pretty good. At risk of getting my readers to do all of my work for me, I would need some sort of angle to explore that from though. Or as put in my dissertation workshop Wednesday night, what is a question that needs to be asked about this topic? Can I view this phenomenon through the lens of to tone and underlying messages in Fifty Shades for example? I'll have a think. Let me know if you have any other brilliant thoughts on the subject because that one was awesome.

amberance said...

Dr Norf - THanks so much for the tip! I'll remember that for next year :)

Hannah said...

One question I'd love to know the answer to (although I have no idea how you'd go about it and whether it'd be a suitable area of study) is why men are pretty much applauded for having as much casual sex as they please while women are stigmatised for the same actions.