Saturday, February 11, 2006


Yesterday’s post was supposed to be a chatty catch-up after almost a week of no entries here, but it ended up being something else. I was buzzing all day after my meeting with GT, and I always get on a kind of high when someone I look up to applauds my work. I don’t think my state of mind is wholly attributable to being praised though; it also arises from being so weirdly focussed. Having almost two years off between degrees has been a very good thing. Everybody I have spoken to about this, whether they’ve taken time off or not in between the Master’s and the PhD themselves, has recommended the value of a break. I didn’t feel up to launching into another thesis straight away anyway, but other people’s advice has shored up the decision, and my sense that I know what needs to be done when approaching such a project has vindicated that decision further. I am so into taking other people’s advice about strategies for completing the PhD right now. Other people’s advice is how I came to the decision not teach in the first year. I have also been quizzing those people who have done Master’s and are now running out of their PhD scholarships, but not within a year of completion. Did they start off as eager and focussed as I feel right now? If so, when did that change? What precipitated it? What are their regrets about their work practices and the decisions they made along the way, and how they affected their progress? What, if anything, do they feel was out of their control, that contributed to the time spent on their Doctorate? I have a friend whose project started out comparing the gay male literatures of two countries and now he is looking at one male writer who may or may not have been gay. And then he had to learn from scratch the whole body of post-colonial theory. I find the story of that experience quite daunting—you just can’t control those kind of changes and challenges in a thesis. It’ scary.


In other news, the mf neighbour was served an eviction notice. So, if all goes well he will be out of mine and my other neighbours lives on Tuesday. I hope he leaves without any problem. The property manager expressed this worry to me and so now I’ve been concerned that it won’t be a straightforward matter of him acting on the notice. Some CIB police knocked on the door this morning, wanting to know if I’d heard anything throughout the night. Apparently there had been quite a serious attack in the area over night. I had to tell them I had only heard my downstairs neighbour between 1.00am and 3.00am, and maybe some general conversation from the balcony of one of the houses up the back. I didn’t hear any screaming, just the ongoing vibration of the mf neighbour and other non-specific noises; as the detective said, ‘Just another Friday night on C. Street’. I did get up at around 2.00am and wash the stack of dishes I had left on the sink. I made sure to do them as noisily as possible, but still I didn’t hear any screaming, except in my own head.


Again, my post hardly qualifies as an innocuous chatty catch up as I swing from the hyper-stimulation of a new research project to the energy sucking antics of the mf neighbour and other antisocial types. Speaking of which ...

I saw North Country last weekend. I wanted to see it because it reminds us of the abominable behaviours to which sexual harassment policies and legislation were drafted to respond. Especially after the reckless irresponsibility of Helen Garner’s The First Stone in this country, it’s not before time that the detractors of the workplace policy and government legislation take the opportunity to reflect that the events upon which North Country is based only occurred in the early nineties.

Still not chatty, I know. See how easily I launch into a rant?

I saw the last episode of RAN: Remote Area Nurse this week. I’m sad to see it go. I felt all tingly every time I watched it; it was that good. So good.

I watched the new episodes of all the Law & Order franchises. I found SVU a bit tedious because of the underneath-that-police-badge-Elliot-has-the-same-impulses-as-a-sexual-predator story line. It was good to see Robert Patrick making a guest appearance though. Between this and his role as Johnny Cash’s father in Walk the Line, I’m putting in a request to see more of him. I’m looking forward to this season of the original Law & Order series. How thrilled am I to see that Michael Imperioli, Christopher from The Sopranos, is now playing a detective on the series? I really do like Dennis Farina as the other main detective; him and his fancy Italian shoes! Another connection with The Sopranos is present in Criminal Intent. From the previews it looks like Annabelle Sciorra who played Tony’s ‘goomah’ in series three is partnering up with Detective Mike Logan, who is returning to the franchise after Chris Noth had a turn as Mr Big on Sex and the City.

I had to make a tough decision between the second episode of the new series of Lost and the return of Medium on Thursday night. I recorded RAN, and chose Medium reasoning that I could figure out what happened in Lost as it went on. I was glad I chose Medium because it turns out Alison’s husband has started seeing a therapist who has advised him that his wife is ‘profoundly inconsiderate’. Something to reflect on for the thesis—see how all this television watching is research? Plus, how good is Patricia Arquette? She really shouldn’t be missed. Ever.

Of course, Desperate Housewives was ‘must-see’ television. For me Bree is the best character ever, who else would even contemplate, never mind get away with, changing the tie on her dead husband mid-funeral? She is very closely followed by Felicity Huffman’s character for telling her husband that being a mother is like being an ER doctor, there are no days off, even when you are sick yourself. And still she picked up the baby and went off to work with it under her arm, while her husband lay prostrate on the floor.

I think I finally made it to chatty, but I better sign off now and leave the flat as quickly as possible before all that changes. Perhaps I’ll find some sanctuary at the cinema away from the ceaseless, Thud! Thud-thud!

Bring on Tuesday. Please?

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