I spent today reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – I started it around Christmas, and savored it for a long time, then got too into it when I needed to be working. And, since I’ve got nothing else better to be doing right now, I picked it up again. Fortunately, I finished it, and so am now free to return to the quagmire of the dissertation tomorrow.
I wrote 3 sentences yesterday AND rearranged some note cards, so I thought that was enough to justify going with Spousal Unit to see Batman Begins in a matinee. The film? Badly edited in places, badly written in places, but mostly entertaining and enjoyable. And, you’ve just got to love a film that has Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Rutger Hauer, and Gary Oldman as the supporting players. (Big shocker — Rutger Hauer plays a bad guy. Morgan Freeman plays a good guy.) It was also a bit loud. I had to put my fingers in my ears to prevent the sound from driving out my brain through my ears a number of times. But, I blame that on the two-bit local corporate theater rather than the film.
A friend recently wrote to me that she knew the dissertation was awful when she would write a few lines and almost reach the end of a paragraph and then get all excited because when she finished that paragraph she got to get up and scoop the cat poop. I thought this was about the best description of the dissertation process ever. You know it is totally horribly brutal when you’d rather be cleaning the litter box than writing your dissertation. She’s a lot more disciplined than I am — she waits to get to the end of the paragraph before getting up to do the only slightly less disagreeable task. I opted this week to do the agreeable tasks first. But, if you play, you pay, right? So, tomorrow I’ll pay. I’ll start back at the beginning, taking baby steps toward a goal of really writing each day.
One of the friends we hung out with tonight also had good advice. He said that there are two kinds of dissertations — 1. the kind you are proud of and feel good about and 2. the kind that are done. He reminded me that the second kind are the only kind that exist. Nobody is ever proud of the text of the first. I don’t think I need to be proud, I just need to not be horrified. Is there somewhere in between that I can find? I hope so. And, I hope with everything I’ve got that I begin to find it tomorrow.
Good night, all –