Unhappily Distracted

When you are one week away from dissertation deadline, and are so worried about being wastefully distracted from your finely-honed dissertation production routine that you have taken the dramatic step of packing up laptop, books, photocopied articles and a couple days’ worth clothing and hefting it all to Alec’s hopefully distraction-free flat, you don’t expect to find yourself having read two entire non-dissertation material books in two days at the end of it all.

Given that the last author you mentioned reading on this site was Salman Rushdie, it is even less expected that these two books will both have been written by Tony Hawks. Let me explain.

On Monday I wanted something to read over breakfast, and surveyed Alec’s bookcase. I should say, for the sake of fairness, that it does contain many fine volumes brimming with literary merit, but I don’t like that over breakfast when I am trying to write a dissertation, which is why I decided The Vision Of Dante (1894 edition, respect!), and Baudelaire, The Complete Verse would have to wait. Here were some of my other options:

  • Classic Irish Whisky, Jim Murray. Too basic. After all, I am an authority on Classic Irish Whisky Breath and have no need for such entry-level efforts.
  • The Catechism Of The Catholic Church. Perhaps some other time.
  • The Story Of Lucy Gault, William Trevor. I would have read this, but after Two Lives recently felt like struggling my way through a literary quicksand of depression and tragedy, I need a little time before my next foray into William Trevor world.
  • Playing The Moldovans At Tennis, Tony Hawks

Well, there you go then. It was riveting. I confessed my daytime exploits to Alec who found this highly amusing given my usual literary pretension.

On Tuesday I wanted something to read over breakfast, and surveyed the bookcase again. Here were further options:

  • Les Miserables (Volume Two). No volume one. Go figure.
  • On The Genealogy Of Morals, Nietzsche. A gift from me, I must confess. He read it politely. I owe me no such politeness.
  • The Ultimate Pipe Book, Richard Carleton Hacker. See entry for Classic Irish Whisky.
  • Round Ireland With A Fridge, Tony Hawks.

So Alec calls at lunch and asks solicitously how I’m doing with the dissertation. “Well,” I venture with quavering, self-hating voice, “Tony’s just left Ennistymon, they wanted to take the fridge scuba-diving but thought better of it in the end.”

Essays In Resentment

I’ve been reading and enjoying finestlittlespace every now and then for quite a while now, but somehow never got round to linking to it.

If, however, I manage to finally resign myself to getting a move on with that 5000 word comparative human rights paper, her blog will be a delightful source of schadenfreude in the midst of my misery, because she’s got to do a whole thesis! (Sorry, Nurul! Hang in there, and best of luck with it. You do really have all my sympathies!)

Like her, I too tried to make a list of tasks for this essay. It went something like:

  • Choose essay topic
  • Do the damn research
  • Photocopy the damn research
  • Read the bloody research
  • Make notes on the bloody research
  • Plan the fucking essay
  • Write the fucking essay
  • Shout “CHEE-BAI, it’s done!” and jet off to Venice

Perhaps the first seven items are overly negative, but the thought of the last one is keeping me going.

Fun With US Constitutional Case Names!

Fun fact for the day: in the American constitutional rights saga that began with the miraculous “creation” of a general right to privacy and eventually led to the legalizing of abortion, a case along the way that extended this right of privacy to activities relating to marriage was called Loving v. Virginia.

Okay, so maybe it’s a thoroughly boring factoid and would amuse only the puerile, but when trying to research a comparative human rights essay on judicial discovery of unenumerated rights, one must look for these little joys.