To read more about the Five Days Project and how I never said that it would be five days IN A ROW click here.
This weeks resolution: I will write blog entries for the next five days (one per day) about whatever my friends post in the comments on my Facebook Page.
Modified this one a bit because I have Netflix and Netflix is this awesome land of plenty where videos go to exist and make you watch things you never thought you wanted to watch (again) until they are there. I am a Netflix subscriber.
So for this entry I decided that I would watch the cartoons available under the "80's cartoons that will make you wish you were nine again" section that is available on my Netflix page. This is because my daughter likes to watch He-Man and She-Ra (for realz!) because she is awesome. She knows the back stories of the characters and has already decided that she wants to be She-Ra for Halloween next year and that she wants her dad to be He-Man. I am very, very excited to see him in this. (Furry underwear FTW)
What I decided to do was to watch the first five minutes of the first five cartoons available under this heading. I would write my immediate reactions to them and base my judgment off of only those five minutes. Challenge created and accepted.
(5 minutes with) The Super Mario Bros. Super Show (1989): Pizza, check. Checkered table cloths, check. Big mustaches, check. Wassa matta witch you paisanos? Ima Italiano. Here is me Googling what a paisano is. Italian for - "A friend or acquaintance" Also -- "an Independent student run newspaper of the University of Texas at San Antonio established in 1981."
Learn something new every day.
(New insights gained by re-watching...five minutes) - Kinda like Jersey Shore, except without tanning, or the gym. Mama Mia! Somebody get that guy a cannoli!
(5 minutes with) Garfield and Friends (1988): This episode is entitled "Identity Crisis." In this episode Garfield probably has an identity crisis. He probably eats lasagna. He probably says something mean to Odie. John probably sighs. There's some sort of deep and meaningful analysis in here about how mean Garfield is to the Dog Catcher. The Dog Catcher essentially represents the authority, the cops, the people sent to make you "do work" or "conform" or "follow the rules." Garfield takes it upon himself to take this authority figure down, why? Because you don't get to tell people what to do and cite them and take them to the pound. Essentially, we must run away from the constraints of society, we must rebel against the man. The Dog Catcher is the man. He's there to catch you and force you into domestication. We must not be forced into domestication. Also, dogs are dummer than cats.
(New insights gained by re-watching... five minutes) - Heathcliff was better. There, I said it.
(5 minutes with) Jem and the Holograms!: Full disclosure I am a Jem fan. She is truly outrageous, truly, truly, truly outrageous. I can still sing the entire theme song for you. Jem... Jem is excitement. Ooooo Jem... Jem is adventure (Glamour and glitter, fashion and fame!) I'll stop now. But the more you watch Jem the less sense it makes. Take for instance this episode where they are kidnapped (in a previous episode) and are being held as JEM and the Holograms in some warehouse. Jem talks to Synergy (her trusty computer who can conjure up whatever Jem needs as long as it's in Hologram form) and says "Synergy, make it look like the police are coming and also put a tiger in the room." Somehow this confuses the kidnappers who are scared of the tiger and then run out of the warehouse only to think they have been captured by the fake hologram cops. This is when Jem and the Holograms make their escape. However, now they are stuck out in the middle of nowhere and don't know where to go to get back in time for their show! The question becomes "Well, Jem, how come you didn't just ask Synergy to call the real police, who could have come to get you and police escorted you to your real show?"
This, ahem, is the same question I have when they are stuck on the desert island and everyone is all "how will anybody ever find us, we don't even know where we are?" And there is Jem, talking away with Synergy going "what will we do Synergy if you can't keep up the hologram while we are crash landed on this desert island" but never "Gee Synergy, could you maybe call the coast guard or something and tell them where we are? Cause you are a super computer and everything. I'm sure you can Google Maps it..."
(New insights gained by re-watching... five minutes): We are the Misfits! Our songs are better! We are the Misfits! (The Misfits) And we're gonna get her!
(5 minutes with) The Transformers: Optimus Prime is freaking tall.
Also - whatever that was that Michael Bay tried to pass off as Transformers was NOT Transformers. That movie could NOT capture all that was the glory of the autobots, more than meets the eye. I like Megan Fox in that movie though, because she can fix cars and press her boobs against them at the same time.
(New insights gained by re-watching...five minutes) Optimus Prime is still the man.. bot... truck... awesome. I don't think I could handle watching the cartoon feature movie where he dies. Spoiler alert... twenty-seven years later.
(5 minutes with) GI Joe: First of all, I could sing this entire theme song too if I had to. He's a real American Hero. And he's there. Second of all, why does Scarlet have to wear a leotard? Nobody else has to wear a leotard. And third of all, Duke spends most of his time in these first five minutes sexually harassing Scarlett.
See at one point there's some big Cobra attack happening so he grabs her right below her boobs and throws her on the ground so he can roll on top of her. She looks at him and says "Hey, why didn't you just yell 'look out!'" Cause, you know, she is a grown GI Joe herself who could probably get away from a fighter jet or two. And Duke just smiles at her and goes "Didn't you hear, I'm a man of action."
Later he gives her some look when she's climbing out of a fighter jet after she just helped him save the GI Joe base in which he means "you did alright, oh and nice leotard."
Duke, however, is also given one of the best lines I heard in any show "I'm gonna kick the mustard outta that crazy hot dog." Indeed.
(New insights gained by re-watching...five minutes): Cobra Comander and Destro are in a relationship... and it's complicated. They definitely have some love for each other, which culminates in them being slightly annoyed with each other. Well mostly Destro. You can tell, he loves that crazy mofo Cobra Commander, and he just wants the guy to take a breath and relax a bit. Best exchange between potential life partners- bffs - trusty sidekick to your evil overlord happened in the first five minutes of this episode after Destro comes wandering in from the rain into this huge, stone, castle thing that is covered in carved cobras and guarded by cobras with a few cobra accents on the doorknobs and table decorations -- just for ambiance and what not:
Cobra Commander: We are dissssss-apointed. You were expected dayssssss ago Dessssstro.
Getting Through That First Year of Graduate School (cause I'm done with mine - and that makes me an expert!)
Been working on this for a little while. My first year of grad school was - FAST. It goes by quick.. and most of the time you spend thinking you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. And most of the time - you may not - but neither do a lot of people. If you knew it all already, why would you be in graduate school? TIPS.
1. Read... everything.
They tell you this a lot in life. My mom is always telling her students that the more you read - the better you write. Authors are always telling wannabe writers to "read, read, read" (even though that advice would always frustrate me, like "okay? I'll read a whole bunch and TA DA I'm a famous writer now!"). And here I am... saying what has been said before and will probably be said over and over again. Read every book that is assigned in the class. Read the footnotes in those books. Read before you go to bed at night. Read when you are eating Pho at the Coffee House. Read. And then when you start to feel really overwhelmed by all there is to read... pat yourself on the back for all the reading you've already been doing, take a break and watch the first four seasons of Psych on Netflix. (It's a good show. I don't think it gets enough credit because it's well written, funny and has a lot of pop culture references to 80s movies, which I appreciate.)
2. Read the book reviews.
Before I start reading a book I will usually peruse a few of the book reviews (easiest way to find them is on Google Scholar). I do this because it gives me a sort of background on what I'm about to read. I like when I'm reading a few of them and they are all saying something about how "this book is really for a specialist" (AKA this book is kind of confusing/ dense/ hard to read/ philosophical/ requires a dictionary) or "this book has included a lot of extra information in the footnotes (AKA this book may seem like it's only 200 pages but when you count the tiny tiny print of the footnotes, it's more like 500... so thanks for that). What the book reviews can help you to do is understand in a very basic way what the book is about, what it's trying to say and what is going on. It's a very basic point to start from when you start to think about what YOU might want to say about the book.
3. When you professor assigns you a "review" or "short papers" on the books you are reading, always use at least two additional sources in your paper.
They probably aren't going to tell you to do that, by the way. They are probably going to give you some questions they want you to answer about the book and ask you to write a paper based on those questions. But no where will it say "and you can use additional sources" - but you should. You can actually use book reviews as a source at this point. But it also helps to take that extra step in (a) looking up the critique or analytical response to the book (GOOGLE SCHOLAR AGAIN) and (b) looking up the author.
4. Always, always look for connections.
You know what I used to hate about fancy shmancy know it all Graduate Students? That they would always be like "this is a lot like so and so (famous author/ writer/ philosopher) when he says (something cool)." I still can't do that. But I can find connections among the books we are reading in classes - and that's the first step. Think of it this way, your professor designs the class, and they pick the books they do for a reason. They also choose the order and the theme of the class and the paper topics. So somewhere there is a connection. There is something that you are going to learn from one book to the next. Once you figure out a few of these connections - you should write them down. When somebody in class says "isn't this a lot like so and so" then you should write that down to. And look up who so and so is. I met one girl who keeps this huge spider chart looking thing on her computer that shows all these crazy connections - and it all comes down to FACEBOOK. No I'm serious. CONNECTIONS.
5. Look it up, Google It.
So at the start of the year I had to take a class called "Ethnohistory" and my first thought wasn't "oh, I hope I can handle the workload" or even "reading a book a week will keep me... busy" but instead my very first thought was "what's ethnohistory?" I probably could have guessed. But instead I googled it. And then I read about it. And then I was ready to talk about it. And then I wondered why I didn't hear about this before. And then I felt really good about myself and started on the newest season of Psych.
6. Ask the dumb questions.
Some of my first questions were: "What's End Note?" "What's Google Scholar?" "What's the first rule of Fight Club?" (That's a trick question by the way - because we ALL know that the first rule of fight club is SHHHH).
7. Google It again.
Quite honestly my first few weeks of school I googled: "What's the best filing system for a Graduate Student" (a really detailed long one. Someday I'll write up the names of all my files in my filing system... but not today). "How do I finish my thesis?" (They have whole books on this subject). "What is the best way to stay organized as a Graduate Student?" (Keep to your calendar, write down how you spend your time, set aside ACTUAL time to do WORK like you are at a JOB because your JOB is Graduate School now...). "Where can you get good Mexican food in this darn town?" (You can't. It's just how it is.)
8. Go to your Graduate Student meetings and gatherings and social events.
I know, I know. You're a graduate student. You don't have time for FUN. But trust me they aren't fun! (Ba dum dum dum). It's good to get to know your fellow grad students. They've been doing this whole thing for a while now too - they may have some good advice, and they may know where to find the answers to things you don't know.
9. Get back to reading.
10. And watching Psych.
(After Psych you should start Ally McBeal. It's AWFUL. The kind of awful that makes you want to watch the entire thing from start to finish. Kind of like how I feel about Brothers and Sisters...)
About This Blog:
This is the stuff I do to survive Graduate School.
It's also other stuff I do in life.
My life is mostly Graduate School.
Cutcha RIsling Baldy is a PhD Candidate in Native American Studies at UC Davis.