Miscellaneous Responses to Brian


I rarely plan to go to the PTA; more often I get a bad case of cabin fever after "working" at home all day and decide I desperately need to get out of the house and decide that the Carrboro PTA is a worthy destination. Since it's only about 2 miles from my house, it's fairly convenient to drop in. But if you want to piggyback a visit off of your next trek to Davis to retrieve/return a book, give me a call and I'll be happy to come.

That said, I do tentatively plan to go there around 10:30 or 11 a.m. tomorrow, since the Club Nova thrift shop a half block away is having a bag sale starting at 10 a.m. that I want to hit. But I haven't yet sorted out how that's going to gel with Kristy's Halloween costume hunting outing.

As for the artwork the PTA has for sale, my impression is that they usually operate with a quite liberal definition of what counts as "artwork." Like all other thrift store merchandise, selection is hit-or-miss. But I am delighted by my Last Supper on Black Velvet (once I get a digital camera, I'll post an image) that I found there, and David and Sarah reportedly found a fine piece of real art there when they first moved to the area.


"Common Places" refers to my observation that a personal weblog seems a 21st century analog to the early modern Commonplace book, a place for collecting miscellaneous thoughts, quotes, or whatever idea catches your fancy that you might want to have access to later on. (I am evidently not the first or only person to draw this connection.) My freshman philosophy professor encouraged us to keep our own commonplace books, and I started to do so a couple years ago, although mine is in digital format, which makes it easier to organize musings topically rather than enter them randomly. I'm actually finding it useful for organizing my thoughts in the direction of a dissertation field (don't ask me what that is yet), since it groups in one place unfinished versions of various insights and questions that excite me, and allows me to see connections among them that I might otherwise miss.

I also liked the label as a title for a blog because by posting on the web I make my musings at least semi-public, or common. Common is short for "communion" or "community," and this reminds me that writing is at best not a solitary, solipsistic activity, but takes place in and for community. "Common" also suggests that there is not any particular sagacity or profundity intended or expected here; it is a record of my uncommon common life, ideas and events in the course of daily living. "Places" is somewhat ironic, since cyberspace is a world without place. But that reminds me that the virtual world is parasitic on reality, that the cyberplaces I like to visit are maintained by human beings in particular places. The web can be a common place for the meeting of minds that are separated by space.

I'm not sure that that last bit makes sense, but in the spirit of commonplace commenting, I'll post it anyway.


Johnny Canuck said...

I definitely don't have all the answers, but I know that as long as people keep sharing ideas like this, the truth will eventually reveal itself and maybe it can make a difference somewhere.

I think this blog rocks! Keep up the good work, I've bookmarked it and will definitely swing by again soon.

Feel free to pay a visit to my Canada immigration site. It might not be your "cup of tea", but it covers Canada immigration related topics.

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