Sunday, January 21, 2007

In Magical Color

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be making a couple of business trips between Boston and university campuses in the midwest. I am taking my history show on the road as I present my research. It’s exactly the same as a rock band’s tour – except without the music, adoring fans, fame, or money.

Hmm – Maybe it’s more like Eva PerĂ³n’s “Rainbow Tour” of Europe – only without the fascist undertones and migraine-inducing bun. Well, it’s mostly without those things. Of course, Eva wouldn’t have to shove all her liquids into a one quart zip-lock bag in some foolish attempt to make it look like the government is making us safe.

I am not always the best at allocating my time. As the due dates for these presentations lunged towards me, I realized that I go through some cycles as I try to write my presentations. These cycles, in turn, have observable material consequences.

Stage One: Denial


    Internal Thinking: What presentations?

    Self-Delusion: If I don’t think about the deadline, it doesn’t exist.

    Status of Apartment: Mr. Clean would be glad to call it home.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 4:00pm to 4:10 pm

    Time is Spent: Goofing off, going out with friends, spending time at the gym, masturbating.


Stage Two: Procrastinating

    Internal Thinking: Okay, I have those presentations in a couple of weeks, but there is still plenty of time.

    Self-Delusion: If I start now, I would just forget everything by the time I left Boston anyway.

    Status of Apartment: Everything in the apartment has now moved to a new level of immaculateness. Rather than writing, I am more than happy to scrub the kitchen sink or vacuum.

    Time is Spent: Reading blogs, scrubbing, watching t.v., still going to the gym, masturbating.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 9:00am to 6:00pm, but usually is spent reading blogs or surfing e-bay for the perfect casserole dish from the 1940s.

Stage Three: Guilt

    Internal Thinking: Why am I being so lazy? Must work more.

    Self-Delusion: Then again, everybody takes a little time off.

    Status of Apartment: Still immaculate, but laundry starts to build up in closet.

    Time is Spent: Alternate between typing and chastising myself for not embracing the notion that “work makes life sweet.” Also, masturbating.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 9:00am-2:00pm, but leave early to go to the gym to work off stress.

Stage Four: Anxiety

    Internal Thinking: Oh.My.God – I am in serious trouble and will never get this done in time.



    Self-Delusion: As long as I am typing, I must be making progress.

    Status of Apartment: Bathroom is still clean, but dishes start to accumulate in sink. Laundry prevents closet door from being closed

    Time is Spent: Alternate between typing and worrying that the stress will make my hair fall out. Masturbating.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 9:00am-8:00pm with shorter gym time.

Stage Five: Peak Efficiency

    Internal Thinking: See? All I needed was a little bit of panic.

    Self-Delusion: Nothing will slow me down again.



    Status of Apartment: Too busy to notice.

    Time is Spent: Typing, contemplating, and typing some more, then masturbating.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 9:00am-8:00pm, but still squeeze in a blog entry here and there. Gym time is eliminated.

Stage Six: Cocky

    Internal Thinking: Why am I busting myself over the chops? I should take a little time off.

    Self-Delusion: I have plenty of time and know my work inside and out.

    Status of Apartment: Instead of cleaning, I toss a tablet into the toilet tank to make the water blue; dishes developing mold in sink (decide to start eating out more); laundry now where ever I took off my clothes.

    Time is Spent: Sleeping, taking long walks, leisurely reading and updating blog.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 12:00pm-2:00pm. Return to normal gym schedule

Stage Seven: Panic



    Internal Thinking: Aaaaagh...

    Self-Delusion: Now that my career is over, working at the McDonald’s drive-thru won’t be so bad.

    Status of Apartment: Bathroom door is kept shut to avoid having to think about it; kitchen qualifies for federal disaster funding; I simply buy new clothes rather than laundering the ones that are piled up everywhere.

    Time is Spent: Sweating, biting nails, masturbating.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 8:00am-12:00am, only thinking about work with minor breaks to eat and sleep.

Stage Eight: Completion

    Internal Thinking: Everything is going to be okay – The project is just about finished.

    Self-Delusion: Next time, I won’t make the same mistakes. I am not going to repeat this cycle.

    Status of Apartment: Bathroom only inhabitable for short periods; kitchen sink has evolved into its own civilization. Charlton Heston crash-lands near my dishwasher.



    Time is Spent: Realizing that during the panic stage, I wrote material that is ten minutes too long for the presentation. Must now edit and make things concise -- Wishing that I was masturbating instead.

    Hours Spent on Task: Computer is on 9:00 am to 10:00pm – Time is allotted to practice delivering talk.

Stage Nine: Recovery


    Internal Thinking: That wasn’t so bad. Why all that panic?

    Self-Delusion: My next presentation is decades away.

    Status of Apartment: Decide to burn down apartment and start life over somewhere else once I finish recovery stage.

    Time is Spent: Curled in a blanket; Watching DVD episode where Wonder Woman is attacked by killer toys; Wondering what other people do for a job; drinking; and masturbating with vigor.

23 comments:

ZaPaper said...

Wow, your nine-stage process had me chuckling. I am going through this with dissertation but spread out over several years and occasionally repeating. The anxiety stage alone can last for months at a time. :P I hate to think what it will be like when I actually have to give talks, given how much I hate public speaking... Fortunately being in China gives me a great excuse...

Anonymous said...

Any one else find the image of a person fervently alternating between research and masturbation incredibly hot?

No? No? Just me then...god.

tornwordo said...

I noticed that there was no masturbating during the cocky cycle. That word distracts me exactly as full frontal male nudity (of which there is so little) in a film does.

Cooper said...

I too noticed that stage six didn't involve masturbation. Shows where my mind is ... unless the word cocky is an implied metaphor. I'm either way too easily distracted or I think too much. Probably, the former.

Anonymous said...

Yet again I'm left to wonder if GayProf is actually my brother. I handle work the same way. Without the masturbation.

Earl Cootie said...

Ah, with enough vigorous masturbation, you don't need the gym. That'll save you some time on the next presentation. Just a tip from me to you. (You're welcome.)

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad i'm not the only one who approaches impending academic deadlines with a combination of pathos and eros that borders on the self-destructive. your blog is practically perfect, by the way -- where else could i find reading material that makes me laugh AND makes me want to masturbate vigorously, all while reaffirming my "work habits?"

good luck with your talks.
another gayprof who used to live in cambridge

Jefe said...

This is so me. Including the masturbating.

We should totally (put off) work(ing) together some time.

ted said...

You succinctly described how I just wrote my master's thesis. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I usually masturbate with massage oil. I'll have to try vigor sometime.

p.s. Was Charleton Heston in Logan's Run?

Roger Owen Green said...

So, if you're a rock star, does it mean you'll have groupies, thus minimizing your need to DIY?

Doug said...

I gotta get up earlier in the day. Everyone already said things I wanted to.

Need a groupie for the tour? I have extra vigor in case you need it.

Love the images, btw. Both on the page and in my mind.

MaggieMay said...

This cracked me up. The only thing missing (for me) was what my food & liquor consumption looks like during the various stages. When it got really bad --like in grad school -- I would eat nothing but one type of food (usually unhealthy, like Fiddle Faddle) for days at a time. (Shudder)

Anonymous said...

These are my favorite, gayprof. You NEED to put these together somehow; a manual for new academics or something.

I know the gravitas needs to be attended to, but this just made me howl.

Anonymous said...

These are my favorite, gayprof. You NEED to put these together somehow; a manual for new academics or something.

I know the gravitas needs to be attended to, but this just made me howl.

Anonymous said...

These are my favorite, gayprof. You NEED to put these together somehow; a manual for new academics or something.

I know the gravitas needs to be attended to, but this just made me howl.

Anonymous said...

These are my favorite, gayprof. You NEED to put these together somehow; a manual for new academics or something.

I know the gravitas needs to be attended to, but this just made me howl.

Sarah said...

If you write a manual for new academics, I will read it--but I'm glad for this glimpse of what I have to look forward to. I hope the real thing is as much fun as it is to read about...

A friend pointed me to your blog and I've been enjoying it!

-fellow Bostonian, future academic

Anonymous said...

These are my favorite, gayprof. You NEED to put these together somehow; a manual for new academics or something.

I know the gravitas needs to be attended to, but this just made me howl.

Anonymous said...

It's sad how this seems to be how ever paper I ever wrote that was over 20 pages was accomplished, but it was probably condensed into a 4-day period. You probably had a lot more to do so I'm sure it was more spread out. And did you find the 1940's casserole dish? And I read an interview with John Cameron Mitchell (in BUTT magazine, seek it out if you don't know what it is) who says he takes vitamins because he thinks they need to be replenished after masturbating. Do you subscribe to the same theory?

tornwordo said...

But are they your favorite Rebekah?

Anonymous said...

Drop a line if you come to the city of windbags.
Or if you go south into the corn. And watch those 'end of career working at McDonald's jokes. ; ]

Earnest English said...

OH. MY. GOD, So funny.