January 8, 2006

An old notebook.

Sometimes I run across an old notebook of mine and read something in it that makes me remember how bereft I was of blogging back before I realized I, too, could blog. Today, I ran across this, dated July 9, year unknown:
A man buys coffee and leaves before the barista devises the change. The barista hands the coins to me, and I say, "I'm sorry, I can't accept that."

An urn at the café is labeled "H2O (i.e. water)." Are there people who don't get "H2O" who understand "i.e."?

A man in an overcoat takes out a playing card and squeegees the sweat off his face with it.
There's also an entry for July 10th:
I got out volume 13 of the Encyclopedia Britannica (Accounting-Architecture) to find the name of a place in Antarctica (Adélie Coast) so I could finish today's crossword. Then, I started reading from the front of the book. "Aesthetics." Artistotle's answer to Plato, who thought the poets should be excluded from society because they excite dangerous emotions. A. said the experience is catharsis -- a purging -- whereby you experience but ultimately reject the dangerous feeling. No need to eject the poet when you can eject the feeling itself. It's better, really, because otherwise, those bad feelings might roil inside and destroy from within.

A few pages later, in "Alcohol and Drug Consumption," I read of the cult use of peyote, which also has a purging effect. I had wondered how one could feel spiritual toward an experience that entailed vomiting, but theory filled the gap there too: "Many psychedelic drugs produce nausea, and the consequent vomiting may be looked on as a purging of faults."

I picture Plato and Aristotle at a peyote ceremony, Plato taking the just-say-no position and Aristotle justifying his desire for visions (like his desire for emotion-stirring plays) with theorizing about its purging effects.

Perhaps the bulimics of the world need a theorist to counter their critics. Why not purge your way into a better life?
Maybe instead of blogging so much from the NYT, I should take up riffing on reference books.

Anyway, the same notebook had some sketches of people who were listening to a speech by Lawrence Walsh:

Sketches

Sketches

Just some miscellaneous things from the past.

14 comments:

Ann said...
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Ann said...
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AJD said...
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Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

(I edited this comment to remove a reference to the previous deleted post. Thanks for getting rid of that person's crap)

Ok. That's out of the way. It is interesting to note how similar your notebooks are to blog observations.

Do you still sketch at events like this? I pointed my students to one of your earlier posts as an example of how to hone their drawing accuracy and observational skills by making quick covert sketches of people in public situations.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, I've been drawing at lectures forever, but I don't always try to draw the people in the audience.

Eli said...

I imagine it's just shorthard for "critique" or something, but for a second I got super excited that maybe you were labelling a particular sketch of some Critical Legal Studies person as of "Crit 1."

I anticipated an Althouse art book, Sketches of Crits.

Ann Althouse said...

Eli: I'm not showing the whole page. Actually, the word is "crimes." Walsh, the independent counsel for Iran-Contra, was talking about the Starr investigation. The line is "Crimes should be limited to those to do w/ exercise of power." Walsh was talking about when the law should require investigation by an independent counsel.

Eli said...

Above the word Morrison?

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, I see what you're reading. That's about Scalia's dissent in Morrison. He's critical of the independent counsel act.

Eli said...

Critical to say the least...

Ann said...

Still boring.

Ann Althouse said...

You're bored because you're boring.

miklos rosza said...

I've always liked your drawings and/or doodles. I remember in particular a sort of Mayan-styled one on yellow paper.