Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 1 Comment(s)

Today I submitted my doctoral dissertation.  I defended it a few weeks ago, but today i officially submitted it online.  The last thing I wrote was the acknowledgement section.  And, as a great many of you will be spared reading my full dissertation, i thought i might post said section on the blog.  This is of particular significance in that many of my readers are friends and family and my fiance, all of whom are mentioned.  hell, there may even be a colleague or two.  but i doubt it.  Without further ado, i give you those my thanks.

            The idea of writing a dissertation alone is akin to being completely independent in this world.  Both are impossible.  Just as socializing and interdependence are woven into our culture and DNA, so is the accomplishment of this dissertation the product of both myself, and those who supported me through the process.
            First and foremost, this research doesn't happen without my partner, Erin.  The irony of a dissertation regarding household labor, is that I have been forced to neglect my own domestic responsibilities in order to complete the work before you.  She has been understanding, supportive, motivating, and even more understanding.  She believes in a world of fairness, and I love the world she strives to create. While there is no way to ever fully repay you, by marrying you, I hope to give myself the opportunity to try.
            To my family and friends, you are one and the same.  In times of academic isolation you all gave me your time, patience, attention, and love.  These are acts of kindness which cannot be forgotten, and which will always be meaningful to me.  I continue to believe that these relationships are the key to sustained happiness.  So thank you, for being my sustenance.
            To my academic colleagues.  This work would never have been possible without you.  Without your generosity of time, interest, and spirit, I would have been adrift, wandering the academic void, lost in time.  Thank you for your guidance and selflessness.
            And last but never least, my dogs, Grover and Falcor.  There is no therapy quite like being nuzzled between your fuzzy faces.  You continue to open my eyes to new worlds of connection, and you may just be the best dogs that ever were.  

Doctor Knows Best

Sunday, March 25, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

This is still not the second part of the post about san diego.  mostly im just torturing my friend who i know must be constantly checking for the second installment.

Nope, not this one.

I should also explain my bit of an extended absence on the blog.  I've simply had doctor things to do.  Wait, did I say doctor?  Oh.  Yah i did.  I'm a doctor now, which means the mere fact that you're reading this entitles me to some of your money. *arm extends, palm up*.  Wait wait wait.  this is not doctorly behavior.

Doctorly behavior is when you have to pee so badly after a snorkel, but instead of just sneaking one behind the foliage near the water, you wait all the way until you've hiked back to the parking lot.  Yup.  Responsible.  Putting the distance of the car between you and the road when you finally relieve yourself . . . only to realize that an entire family is two cars over, in clear view, watching you pee.  And maybe you were screaming "I AM SPARTACUS" at the top of your lungs due to the relief you were feeling.

Well,  in that case, that doctorly thing to do is to, um,  shuffle while peeing away from said family's car?  the ol' walk and pee.

I mean.  I wouldn't know this myself.  I just read it in the doctor's guide to proper etiquette that i was issued upon completion.  Thought it might be useful information for you all.

The Time the Island tried to Rape my Friend

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

I haven't written in a long time, and I have many explanations and to be continueds to complete.  But.  Until then.

This actually happened.

i am back on the island.  That explains me writing again.

unfortunately, my ladyface love works on a different school calendar from me, and our spring breaks are non-overlapping.  Fortunately, my friend and recent bachelor party attendee (another reason for not writing in awhile) Kaveh was willing to martyr himself to my cause, and join me in paradise.  We have been suffering heartily, as you can imagine.
Well, last night i took Kaveh to town at night for the first time.  And it is a sight.  A mixture of worlds.  On the one hand, we are right smack in the middle of spring break on the island, so there are loud freshman-year style groups of drunken white kids stumbling from bar to bar like a bunch of plastic 12 sided-dice rolled down a hallway.

And then there are the locals.  People of all shapes sizes and colors, who are more hardened.  Weather worn tans that supplant their status as of the island itself.  And these two groups depend on one another, but are, at the same time, otherworldly.

So basically its like the best people watching ever.

At one point, later on in our meanderings, we hunkered down unobtrusively in two plastic chairs under a palm tree.  We were set back from the water and around the corner from the, aptly named, Beach bar.  Apparently this location screamed "come sit with us," because quickly we gained a loud speaking drunk friend in a chair to our right.  While his volume was up to 11, he seemed nice enough and was basically just being friendly.  Kaveh and i, be not unfriendly ourselves, half-heartedly chatted with the man for a few minutes when . . .

I notice a lanky white kid in khaki cargo shorts fumbling with two beer just behind Kaveh's left shoulder.  It is, without a doubt, the sketchiest place possible to stand.  Me, being on vacation and retrieving some of my moxie have no real option but to state out loud to the group, "Ahhhhhh, the ol sneaking up from behind maneuver, not sketchy at all."  

I think my statement somehow forces this kid's hand a few moments before he was expecting to make himself known (picking a "hiding space" directly in view will hurt one's element of surprise).  But, to his credit, he launches forward, full force.

Drunk Kid: "Oh, that's interesting.  um . . . cool.  Hey, you want a beer?"

The kid had been fumbling with two Miller Lite bottles, and I believe he was carrying at least one with his finger in the opening.

Me:  "Um . . . that's the first thing you've said."

Drunk Kid: "Oh, that's cool, where you from. I'm from Iowa man.

Kaveh: "Where in Iowa?"

Iowa:  "De Moine."

Me: "Well, at least you're in the city in Iowa."  

Here is what we know at this point.  This is a very drunk Iowan on vacation.  He definitely was handling those bottles quite a bit in his approach up to Kaveh, and he literally just began a conversation, mid-conversation, that didn't exist as he simultaneously both introduced himself, inserted himself, and offered Kaveh one of his two personal beer bottles.  I don't know what they call that in Iowa, but in Massachusetts we call that "rape-y behavior."  Folks.  It seriously was.  I'm not saying i felt in danger, per say, but watching him troll afterwards did give me the shivers.

The conversation continues.  Drunk Iowa and the loud guy start talking Iowa.  And the kid somehow finds himself part of an infinite loud extolling the quail hunting of Iowa.  "Best in the country," i believe was said.  How could any of us possibly argue.  From there, the conversation began to wind down.  As the two drunkest guys found themselves with less and less to talk about, and with Kaveh and I in full "observe only" mode, eventually both guys moved on, up to the bar.

Kaveh turns to me with a look somewhere between shock, horror and absurdity.

Kaveh: "That was really f'n sketchy, right?!"

Me: "Oh, come on, Miller Lite isn't THAT bad."