I kind of have the blahs today. I’m not sure why. I am prone to mood swings.
I picked up my copy of Mind: Journey to the Heart of Being Human by Daniel J. Siegel. I left off reading this before summer vacation. I’m in the mood to complete reading projects so I picked it up and read several pages in it today.
He gave a definition of spirituality that I like:
SPIRITUALITY – 1. being part of something larger than a personal self, being connected to something larger and 2. having a deeper meaning than the details of every day life, something beyond survival alone
Siegel didn’t actually come up with this. He was giving a talk on spirituality and education and didn’t feel qualified to talk about spirituality since he wasn’t sure what it was. So he asked those present what it was and this was what they came up with.
I ordered some books from Politics and Prose Bookshop in D.C. about a month ago. It seemed like they were taking a long time to arrive. I went looking for a way to track the package and discovered that the day (!) I ordered them, a clerk emailed me back and asked me if I wanted Large Print or Hardback. Fuck. I sent them an email. I hope they arrive soon.
In the meantime I am developing an interest in reading more Nabokov. I am halfheartedly re-reading Pale Fire. I have been listening to Scott Bradfield’s lectures on it on YouTube.
He’s kind of a cranky professor type. His YouTube series is called Reading Great Books in the Bathtub.
I googled him and apparently he is a retired professor living in London. The idea (if I have it right) of reading great books in the bathtub is to limit yourself to reading the texts and not doing too much looking at resource material to help you with it. You can tell that he has watched too many students learn to hate books by reading footnotes and essays about the books. By the way, he doesn’t do the videos from the bathtub. He seems to be in his reading room.
Anyway, he’s keeping my interest in Nabokov alive. I ordered two books by him that I don’t own.
I’ve been watching another Zappa video. This one appears to be a movie about him I had never heard of.
It was released in 1994 the year after Zappa died. But there are some very cool parts to this movie including some 1991 interviews with him in which he talks about his own compositional process.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard him do that before. Here’s a link to it if for some weird reason you’re interested, dear reader.
On The Media put up two of three segments of a series called History of Persuasion from The Stakes in its feed recently. I listened to two of them this morning and decided to subscribe to The Stakes. Here’s a link.
The series talks about the Unabomber and the history of psychological conditioning and lots of cool stuff. I like it.