Sunday, February 18, 2001


It was a busy day yesterday, for most of the Baslow family. Rulizow (Baslow's daughter, briefly known in these pages as Pippi) made her debut as Philostrate, Master of the Revels, in the Pied Pipers production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. There were performances at 3 P.M. and again at 7 P.M. There were two casts (Alpha and Omega) to divide the burden of performances but Rulizow performed with both casts. Mrs. Baslow attended the 3 P.M. performance with El Omnipotente. She brought with her brownies and cookies she had baked, which were sold at intermission. She returned home after the first performance but El Omnipotente stayed on to watch the second cast perform; several of his friends were among the cast members. He slept over at the home of one of those friends last night. Rulizow had dinner at the church where the play was being performed, so she did not come home between performances. She was brought home by the mother of another cast member.

This meant that Baslow and Mrs. Baslow had some time alone together. They used the time to watch more of Ken Burns' Jazz, which they'd taped when it originally aired and which they only sporadically get a chance to watch. They had some popcorn and, later, had some dinner together. They talked and relaxed.

When Rulizow got home, a little after 9:30 P.M., she was tired and exhilirated. Both performances, she felt, had gone well. Ordinarily it would have been time for her to go to bed but she was too excited to do so straightaway. We allowed her to watch more of Haven ( the four-hour miniseries about Ruth Gruber's efforts on behalf of 982 European Jewish refugees allowed to stay in the United States, during World War II) which we'd taped earlier in the week. She got to bed at 10:30. Baslow and Mrs. Baslow went to bed a within the hour.


Until Mrs. Baslow returned in the afternoon, Baslow himself spent most of the day yesterday thinking. He listened to some music (Django Reinhardt), certainly. He posted some links to his weblog, yes. He did some laundry; took collected food waste out to the composter maintained by the co-op; loaded dishes into the dishwasher. What he was REALLY doing, however, all this time, was thinking.

He was thinking, for the most part about:

about representations;
about cultural transmission;
about metaphor, categorization, and conceptual blending;
about the epidemiology of representations;
about how notions of value might derive from the choices we all make, from moment to moment, about where to direct our attentions;
about the systems which exist in conversation to bid for and to negotiate the conversational focus of attention;
about the conversational methods which exist that tie current instances of talk to previous instances, both explicitly (in speech reports) and implicitly (in the invocation of folk formulations); and
about how our thought, our conversations, and our sense of self and of experience seem to depend on narrative structures, on stories.

Baslow long ago gave up any thought of contributing any original thought (let alone research) which would advance the world's knowledge of any of these topics. It has been his hope, from the inception of this blog, that he would develop a discipline of daily writing which would become so natural to him that he would feel comfortable writing about ideas like these. That project is proceeding slowly. Baslow senses that he must simply plunge in, begin to write about these things. This, he realizes, will make a weblog which is already of limited appeal even less attractive. So be it. Baslow needs to find out what he has to say on these matters.

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