Thursday, May 24, 2007

Turning into a Cat

Has anyone seen the Billy Wilder movie Avanti! with Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills? Jack Lemmon's father has died in Ischia and Jack has come to gather the body and get it back to their televised Baltimore funeral in record time. And everything goes wrong. There's this wonderful part where Clive Revill, as Carlo Carlucci, director of the hotel Jack (and his father) is staying at, comes to tell Jack about latest developments about the complicated export license and the acquisition of a hard-to-find zinc-lined coffin.

"I'm here to give you a progress report," Carlo says.

"How are we doing?" asks Jack.

"We are making progress," he retorts.

Okay, it's funnier in the movie. (There's this other part where Carlo says, "I have good news and I have bad news," then proceeds to tell him about how all their plans for getting Carlo's cousins to do things have fallen through and a fogged-in airport has grounded the plane that has the coffin. "Okay, so what about the good news?" Jack asks. Carlo answers: "That was the good news.")

Anyway, that's how I feel right now -- yes, that I'd like to pop my antiquated VHS into the player and watch the movie now -- but also that we're making progress, but still little is getting done.

So one reader has read my diss and given me comments. I'm elated! Nothing I couldn't do in a couple days!!! Maybe we can push up the defense! But the other reader hasn't read it at all. Can't push up the defense because of schedule conflicts. Sigh. The long-and-involved moving project is the same way. Two steps forward. One step back.

But I'm happy that one reader thinks that there's not too much work left to do. And though I had not been able to get my butt in gear to work on the draft for Senior Scholar until this morning, it turns out that SS won't be able to get to it until next week, so there's still some time for me to do a bit of work on it. And it seems clear that I won't get comments from Reader #2 before then. So -- the only problem is that I haven't been able to make myself get to work!!! What have I been doing the last few days? Going to the doctor, fielding phone calls, checking my email 400 times per day, watching a couple movies, looking out the window with Mr. Tabby, taking naps. The other day I was pretty sure I had become a cat, waking up, checking blogs, eating, then going to sleep. I'm not saying it's hard to be me by a long stretch, but where exactly did that productive, focused, hardworking writer-scholar-dissertator go? The machine has apparently left the building.

There are some things that it would be very nice to do if I could just get myself to do them. I'll put them on the to-do list, in the hope that shame will make me work. But really, right now, I'd like some food, since SO's plane is delayed and it's possible we won't have time to go to dinner (since Grad City's kitchens tend to close at ten), and then maybe a wee nap. I swear I was once productive, running around and getting the impossible done. But now I don't even plan on doing laundry before SO comes. Too tired. Mraaarrrrow.

1 comment:

gwoertendyke said...

you need rest. so rest. thoughts on readers: you need one solid reader, one who seriously believes in your project and engages critically. don't wait for anyone else. and when is your defense? can i come???