Well, today I did a whole lotta nothin’. I somehow whiled away the hours this morning fascinated by: Brad Pitt’s meningitis (how can someone have a MILD case? Isn’t it a serious disease? That sounds to me like saying “she has a slight cocaine problem” or a “little bit of pancreatic cancer”); Angelina Jolie’s adoption; snarky gossip about people I have never heard of; and Hollywood mom’s fashion sense for their kids (Madonna, what are ya thinking?) Somehow the quick check of E!News (I know, I know… but I don’t have television so I have to get my cheez somewhere…) turned into an hour-ish long time sink. (FYI — I did also check the real news – so please don’t revoke my leftie academic membership card!) I also spent a considerable amount of time checking every blog I ever stumbled across, watching an oh so teeny tiny little bit of Buffy on DVD, and basically, not doing any of the things that I really should have been doing.
I don’t really have much of an excuse, but here is the one I’ve got, in case anyone is judging and evaluating my behavior: I stayed home in the morning because I thought all of the books that I needed were at home. Turns out, they were at the Cage, but by the time I got around to realizing it, it was noon and I was gonna be damned if I was going to walk thirty minutes to the bus to campus in noonday heat today when the air was so thick with humidity it could have easily been mistaken for fog. Besides, I had physical therapy at 3, and knew that I was going to drive up to campus then. After that, I hung out at Spousal Unit’s cubicle in the Office Trailer attached to the Very Cool Science Thingey where he works for a little bit until our dinner reservations before the play we were going to see tonight. (Shakespeare. Air Conditioning. What’s not to love?)
Yesterday, though, was a smidge more productive. I went to various air-conditioned venues while working some more on this chapter organization stuff. In the process I realized that I can’t actually write the New Chapter 2 until I write New Chapter 1. I’m just way too linear to do it any other way (So, I hear ya La Lecturess!) New Chapter 1 is kind of a history of what is going on between May and December of 1865, and what issues Congress grappled with in 1865. It is kind of an important foundation for the rest of the Diss. and is a consolidation of a lot of stuff I had had in it already, but scattered about different parts of the other chapters. There isn’t going to be any new evidence here, and not much primary stuff, I don’t think.
But, I could be wrong. Trying to check this out – to see if I needed to add anything from the private papers of the Congressmen I am studying — I spent a little bit of time looking at my research notes. Can I just say, I really wonder why the hell I wrote down the things I did in my notes in the archive 4 years ago when I was there, and why I thought things like: “to sell the gold in the Treasury and apply the proceeds to the payment of the public debt, thus saving interest, and then to resume specie payments…” would be important AT ALL for a dissertation about race, gender, and suffrage just because it was written down a bazillion years ago by one of the people I am interested in. I think it really indicates how immature my ideas were at that point – not immature as a goofy teenager in flip-flops with acne – but immature as in undeveloped, unstructured. Anyway, I’m still not sure if there is anything at all useful in there, or even if I really want to do the work to figure that out. But, it is something to keep plugging away on. (Although WHY I didn’t think to plug away at this today, I don’t know.)
We’ll see how it all goes tomorrow. Cheers-