Yup, this is going to be a long one. But I’ll make it as brief as I can.
Brief, unlike the thesis footnotes I’ve been writing. Yesterday, I spent just over two hours working on one part of my draft, and it went like this:
First five minutes: I write a single, relatively unimportant sentence to support a sub-subclaim I want to make: “A simple scatter-plot of the same data with best-fit line indicates that this pair-wise correlation does not appear to be overly influenced by outliers, as seen in Figure 2*.”
Next two hours: I write Footnote 26, which is currently over 500 words long, and takes up about three quarters of that page.
Conclusion: I’m never going to finish writing this…!!!
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this continuously pressé. Every day it feels like I’ve committed some awful crime and I’m just doomed to waiting to be caught… the awful crime being not having already completed my thesis, of course. Quelle horreur!
Miscellaneous (American) pop-culture observations for February 2007, aka ”American Femininity” month:
(1) This seemed to have been a month of unsually high visibility for lesbians. You had Ellen Degeneres hosting the Oscars, with her partner Portia de Rossi naturally making an appearance on the red carpet and at the after parties. At the same Oscars, Melissa Etheridge performed “I Need to Wake Up“, a song she wrote for the film An Inconvenient Truth, inspired she said by Al Gore’s message about the need to address climate change. When the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song a little later, Melissa jumped up, kissed her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels and in her acceptance speech proceeded to thank her “incredible wife Tammy” and their four children. On a related note, I have to say that I was extremely confused when reading this article from People covering the birth of Melissa and Tammy’s twins back in October last year. I still can’t figure out exactly what the quote “these are our first two babies conceived together” means, from a clinical/genetics perspective…
(2) The national spotlight this past month was also cast a little further afield on motherhood in general. Between Anna Nicole Smith’s unexpected death and Britney’s unexpected episodes, I’d say the outlook on all-American motherhood is looking a little tainted right now. This is in contrast to last year, say, when we had periods of focusing on women like Nancy Pelosi (raised five children before running for office at 47!) or Angelina Jolie and Madonna’s admirable adoption decisions. (All this is in even starker contrast to last year’s focus on fathers, like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt who both became new dads.)
PS: And as a tenuously related bizarre pop culture “event” around women, let’s not forget about NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak…
I’m going to quickly wrap up with my Oscars 2007 style observations:
(1) I feel bad for the women who wore things that the American public is unattuned to understanding (never mind liking). I noticed in going through the “vote: love it or hate it?” slideshow on People.com that I very clearly skew European when it comes to style. I especially felt bad for the ladies who chose Valentino (Anne Hathaway, Zhang Ziyi, Cameron Diaz), whose signature ruffles and bows are almost continuously reviled by the American public – although Cameron’s dress was admittedly not very flattering. The same generally applies to people who wore this year’s Chanel (Kirsten Dunst, Penelope Cruz later in the night). And of course I found Meryl Streep’s red carpet Prada ensemble both very witty as well as stylishly interesting (not to mention flattering), while most other viewers seemed to despise the look.
(2) In contrast, most voters seemed to love Liv Tyler in Marc Jacobs at the Vanity Fair party, which I did not. So American.
(3) I non-exhaustively loved:
On the red carpet: Jodie Foster in Vera Wang and Penelope Cruz in Versace…
At the Vanity Fair party: Katie Holmes in Armani Privé and Natalie Portman in Lanvin…
Everywhere: Jennifer Hudson, whom I thought looked stunning throughout her multiple dress changes.
Writing this was relaxing. Now back to work! *feels shoulder muscles tensing*