Friday, September 14, 2007

Let's Sing the Doom Song

Most of my days and nights are devoted to trying to finish the never - ending - research - project - of - doom. This has been the longest process of my life. Some days it feels like I am just spinning around in circles. Perhaps finally finishing a project like this is the last bit of grad school that they never quite teach you before you graduate. The dissertation seems like it was a piece of cake in retrospect. It’s sort of like taking flight lessons, only the instructor leaves the cockpit as you are approaching the runway.

There is nothing to do but simply keep working on it. I am committed to this project and won’t let it go. At some point, it will come to an end. Or I will come to an end. Whichever.

As I am zoning out staring at the computer screen, though, I often think of the many other things that I would rather be doing. Here is a brief list of some of those things:

    *Have serious dental work done.


    *Read blogs

    *Make biscuits.

    *Wonder if I will ever get to work on my research project on porn.

    *Wonder if I will be taken seriously as a scholar when I start my research project on porn.

    *Wonder if I will care if I am taken seriously as a scholar when I start my research project on porn.

    *Think I should just watch more porn regardless.

    *Mop my basement floor.

    *Learn another language.

    *Learn to spell in any language, even (especially?) English.

    *Watch the third season of That Girl on DVD.

    *Try to come up with scenarios where people would be inclined to refer to me as "That Guy."

    *Read the faculty handbook for my new university.

    *See if I really could sew an outfit out of a roll of Bounty© towels and a sock.

    *Work on the never-ending-research-project-of-doom. Oh, wait -- That is what I am avoiding. Sometimes I get confused.

    *Design a GayProf action figure (with Kung-Fu Grip!).

    *Contemplate if I would look better as a red head.

    *Apply for tax-exempt status as my own religion.

    *Scrub my kitchen sink.

    *Scrub your kitchen sink.

    *Consider if I will simply retire if they ever stop manufacturing WordPerfect. Seriously, I tried using the newest version of MSWord before they installed WordPerfect on my work computer. What a pile of junk that thing is! I didn’t think that they could actually make the program worse, but they found a way! VUBOQ, can I hear an amen? I know WordPerfect dates me (I was a secretary in the early nineties after all), but it really is better if you ever want to work on really lengthy projects.

    *Read the many horror stories about WordPerfect destroying somebody’s term paper/dissertation/manuscript/life that I will likely receive when people read the above line.

    *Go grocery shopping.

    *Pretend like I have time to plan a party over the next couple of weeks.

    *Perform a blood sacrifice.

    *Say to myself that I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    *Try not to imagine that light attached to a speeding train heading toward me.

    *Protest war/racism/sexism/homophobia.

    *Get much needed therapy.

    *Write (again) to the local place where I wanted to volunteer to see if they actually got my first message(s).

    *Realize that phoning is probably still best for such things (though I personally hate the phone).

    *Consider putting my cat on a diet. I didn’t think that he was heavy, but every person who has seen him since I moved to Midwestern Funky Town has commented on his relative girth.

    *Search for random Zorro items on e-bay.

    *Join the Navy or priesthood. Given the amount of time that I am working, it’s probably the same schedule – only those other professions come with much more guaranteed gay sex. It’s like a signing bonus or something.

    *Write a hate letter to the Ugg Boot Company – again.

    *Donate to a local charity shop the two boxes of crap that I lugged with me from Boston only to discover that I didn’t really need any of it.

    *Go to the gym.

    *Spend time giving thanks to the goddess that my new office is on the “good side” of the building with a view of trees (as opposed to the poor souls on the other side who have a view of a flat tar-paper roof top).



vuboq said...


As for WordPerfect (and as I type this I'm thinking "Good Lord I'm OLD"), I learned WordPerfect 2.0 at college. Black computer screen. Orange letters. Knowning what pressing Alt+F5 did. And dot matrix printers.

Please come scrub my sink. I will let you sample my chili pepper-infused vodka.

Huntington said...

You forgot "dress up my Steve Trevor doll in his birthday suit."

Marius said...

Wonder if I will ever get to work on my research project on porn

I met a sociologist who did his dissertation on strippers. He spent 6 or 8 months on the road, visiting stip clubs around the country. He collected a lot of data, had sex with lots of strippers (or so they say), and he's currently an assistant professor. He followed his passion and he's doing quite well. I have no idea whether he was taken seriously as a scholar. I suspect he didn't care. He was a free spirit.

You should totally design a GayProf action figure. I'd buy one. :)

pacalaga said...

I had wordperfect ages ago (let's see... "ages" is actually about 13 years ago). I hate Word. I hate WordPerfect. I tolerate FrameMaker.

PS - I saw this and thought of you.

dykewife said...

if you're going to make blood sacrifices you are going to need to wash the floor before the scheduled party. however, i want to know when you're going to wash the floor if you're going to wear what the woman in the picture wears. i think that you'd be particularly charming and disarming looking in a dress, a pinny and black stiletto heeled shoes.

when i first started doing word processing on a computer was in the late 80s with the state of the art version of wordperfect. we had no hard drive so that meant having to swap program discs and split up documents if they were longer than the average business letter. i loved teh way things looked. when i was working front desk we had lotus, word and wordperfect on the computer so that we could deal with any document sent to us. i use word now simply because it's most common and i'm very used to is. i still like the way wordperfect works though. it's so much less intrusive than the "intuitive" word that does things it's not supposed to do and is a bitch to change.

Earl Cootie said...

Ah, yes, Lotus 1-2-3. I forgot about that one. Hm. Back in the late 80s, I worked with some program by IBM (I think). I don't even remember the name. I was good about backing up though and had everything stored on 3.5 discs. And later when I got rid of that computer and ("borrowed") software, I was never able to access it again. A couple years of playscripts and (damn clever) journal-writing, forever gone.

Dorian said...

I used to use a DOS version of WordPerfect. Then my computer crashed beyond repair and I had to learn MSWord to get a job. I still miss WordPerfect.

Vausey said...

For me, the superiority of WordPerfect can be summed up in one function in two words: Reveal Codes.

Dr. Bad Ass said...

Hey, that action figure. Is that an Appalachian Trail symbol on his jacket and hanging around his neck? You know, an A with a big T in it? If so, it makes it so much cooler.

lost in france said...

I like that last item on the list, especially if the tequilla is good.

tornwordo said...

Um, define "brief".

If you're lucky you can combine research projects. A little porn spices everything up.

Cooper said...

I have a fridge magnet that is almost exactly like that floor mopping picture ... right down to the frilly apron and heels.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you 100% on MS Word. I edit the newsletter for our little civic assn., and if I can figure out how to move the masthead graphic to WordPerfect, Word is toast.

Sarah said...

A friend of mine wrote his senior (undergrad) thesis on porn. I'm pretty sure he even got the university to pay for the videos.

If you'd like to scrub my sink and mop my floor in a dress (or not, but I'd prefer the dress), I'll pay you with really good tequila.

adjunct whore said...

you will definitly be taken seriously for a good project on porn. i would take you seriously anyway.

what fun, we should all watch more porn.

Carl said...

Well, please allow me to be the (so far) lone dissenter in the WordPerfect vs MicroSoft Word debate. Despite being a hardcore Macintosh user, I fervently worship at the altar of MSWord. When I started at my current job, in 1998, the by-default office software suite was CorelOffice (I work for the Canadian gvt and Corel is a Canadian company…), which includes the misbegotten WordPerfect and QuattroPro apps.

When I started using (and swearing at) WordPerfect, I discovered its totally bizarre behavior, its random formatting changes (e.g. you bold something in the first line and suddenly a paragraph three pages down is in italics), and its generally crummy interface. When I would ask someone for help, invariably I would be told "Oh, but you need to see the codes!"

WTF? What kind of bizarro DOS holdover is that? You try deleting something by just pressing the 'delete' key and you get "Do you want to delete BOLD?" and "Do you want to delete 16PT?" and all that shit before you can actually move back one space. Argh!

Thankfully, several years ago my department finally realized that the people it kept hiring could care less about the Corel suite and now installs both that crap and MSOffice on our workstations.


Roger Green said...

I rued the day WordPerfect left my office, especially when it was replaced by the evil, idiot version of MS Word. WP would let me see what I've mucked up; Word does not.

On another matter, how WAS the third season of That Girl? I liked the show out of the box, but it got problematic over time. I'm not remembering when, since I haven't seen it since it originally aired.

GayProf said...

VUBOQ: Wow -- 2.0! That is old school. I didn't enter the WordPerfect world until 5.1.

Huntington: I tried not to include things that I already do daily.

Marius: Strippers sure draw a lot of academic attention. I knew a psychologist who was involved in a project on strippers as well.

Pacalaga: If only somebody would knit me such a sweater.

DykeWife: Well, I do vacuum wearing pearls, so wearing heels to mop shouldn't be that much of a stretch.

Earl: I forgot all about Lotus 1-2-3. Good times, good times.

Dorian: I dread the day when I will be require to submit to the MSWord tyranny.

Vausey: Yes! It is all about the reveal codes!

Dr. Bad Ass: Alas, no. The "A" and "T" are for "Action Team." If there were a line of action figures designed around an Appalachian theme, though, I would be the first in line.

Lost in France: Tequila is always good, no?

Torn: The closest I come to porn in this project is mention of a dirty puppet show performed in the nineteenth century. The performers were arrested. No word about what happened to the dolls.

Cooper: I only have an apron with "Mr. Clean" on it.

Anon: Surely WordPerfect can handle the graphic. I have faith.

Sarah: Could I get an advance on my next pay day?

Adjunct Whore: We should all watch more porn. Then we should all assess it for its cultural significance and ideologies about race, gender and sexuality.

Carl: But Word has that annoying "Section Break" that is required to do, well, basically anything elaborate in a document.

I thought Corel stopped supporting Mac. This alone could explain many of your woes.

ROG: Third season is okay. It is about the time, though, that her father starts appearing in almost every episode (which gets tired really fast).

Anonymous said...

Doom doom doom doom do doom doom doom... ... ... do d' doom doom doom, doomie doomie do!

The end.

I'd narrow it down to "Go to the gym" and "Drink". If you're not going to be writing, then everything else kind of fits in between those, anyway.

MaggieMay said...

This is the perfect "to do" list for my sabbatical, GP. That and another road trip to Midwestern Funky Town :)

And I would also totally buy the action figure. And your book on porn.

David said...

Maybe because I was primarily trained on MS Word (well, not counting brief prior forays with Wordstar and Samna) the few times I had to deal with Wordperfect left me shaking with rage. Nothing made sense to me. I am quite happy with Word. I also remember Lotus 1-2-3.

Anonymous said...

It appears I've been dressed entirely inappropriately for mopping all these years. Must. Get. New. Shoes.

Clio Bluestocking said...

You know, if you start with the drinking, the rest just kinda sorts itself out.

My advisor -- my last advisor -- in grad school said that I had to start drinking if I was going to be his student. It was sort of a requirement.

Paris said...

I have never seen any clothing made out of Bounty, but at one of my graduate institutions I encountered a memorable gentleman who had constructed a suit out of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. I imagine the principles involved are similar.

Curtis said...

My MSc is taking FOREVER as well.