Posted by: nedlnthred | May 15, 2014

Fresh Beginnings


Me last summer reading in Bryant Park. This was the one summer day that I dragged my tush to NYPL to do actual thesis work.

Welcome to Thursday, May 15th.  It’s a gloomy day in Manhattan, and I’m at the library where I work until 9:30 this evening.  I’m already feeling bleary eyed, heaven help me.  But I’m also getting my act together after a terrible winter full of depression, illness, and self doubt.

And I am going to finish my goddamned dissertation.  Oh, yes, you bastards, look out, because writing is coming.  But first, pages to read before I sleep.  Oh, so many pages.  Eek!

Some things have become evident this past year that I’d best accept:

I am bad at winter, home-owning, feeding myself, getting myself to libraries outside of my home, reporting to others, self-motivation, managing money, and keeping my stairs vacuumed and my lawn mowed.  Fortunately, I have good friends, a great therapist, decent meds, wonderfully supportive parents, the world’s most loving pussycats, and alternatives to the NYPL.  With the help of these things I’m beginning to pick myself back up off the floor (in the back of a very dark closet, underground, in an abandoned warehouse in Newark, etc.)  I am tough enough and valuable enough to make this worth my trouble.

There are cautionary tales among us:  Helen Pinto, Shaun Nelson, Sondra Venable.  They are/were every bit as intelligent and talented as I, though perhaps not as driven.  And they have not succeeded the ways I want to.  It is a waste that grieves me daily.  Especially Shaun, the bastard (he killed himself two and a half years ago.  Goddamnit, I miss him!), but I will not go quietly.

We all know this pep talk is more for me than for you, Gentle Reader, but so it is.  I will endeavor to entertain you regardless of my whining.  But first, an hilarious post from someone else’s blog that is absolutely worth your time…

This is my issue.  I’m bad at setting priorities and sticking to them.  My monkey is a Giant Gorilla, not unlike King Kong: the scary Peter Jackson version, at that.

Anyway, watch this space because I intend to use it to get through my thesis and probably a few other things besides.  And I think I will likely move all my livejournal stuff here, too.

Hmm.  Lest you ask, I suppose I should put the title of my dissertation in here somewhere:

“Robes of Court and Palace”:Dress and Queenship at the Court of Henry VIII, 1509-1547.

TaaaDaaa!  See what an erudite title I have come up with?  Frankly, the project’s not half bad, either.  I just need to put my eyes (and tush) where my mouth has been and read and read and read and then write crap about all of that.  I also feel like I ought to put some pictures in here just to perk up the text-heavy look.  Lessseee .


scheming women

The Usual Suspects, caught plotting more madness after Kasia’s Laurel ceremony

These are the people with whom I spend most of my time.  Yes, my life is mostly gendered female.  Weird, huh, in our terribly sexist world?  But this is my family-of-choice.  A group of creative and smart and wonderfully funny women who share my passions for both research and making stuff.



And this is an illuminated page from a book of hours that Henry VIII commissioned sometime in the 1520s. The May page, because May.  Which is pretty damn cool.  Apparently noble couples went walking in the woods in May, to pick up twigs??  More research is needed here, because the only use for them I can think of is that they were kindling for homes lit by fires.  But srsly??  Noble people did this?  That seems a bit nutty to me.  But maybe if your Learjet hasn’t been invented yet, so you can’t go shopping in Paris, this is what was left.  Who knew.


This is what my brain feels like most days.  Imagine all those cats shedding into the wiring of my brain.  Now imagine how tangled up the wires have gotten.  That is all.

There.  I’ve begun.




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