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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2005-09-06 - 5:55 p.m.

Well, howdy! Happy September!

I went on a microvacation to the Ocean State, where I swam, ate, watched CNN, slept, swam, watched CNN, swam, watched the local channel's video highlights of last year's Bassett Bash, watched CNN, swam, and swam.

I now feel like my ol' self for the first time in...months? A year? Which is to say I'm excited about life again.

Some of this is due to the uncontrollable back-to-school chemical reaction that September incites in my brain, no matter how long ago my school days were (and hey I'm still paying off my student loan, so it's like I haven't left).

And obviously some of this is watching the Katrina horror unfold, from a safe distance. Gratitude for just being alive and having the basics.

Aside from the swimming, I also enjoyed a boat tour of Newport, and a really cool exhibit of ladies shoes at the Historical Society. I get a particular thrill out of antique shoes--they take the shape of the feet who wore them most, so they are like leather fossils, proof of life.

I love the straight, bare-bones lines of New England's colonial architecture--makes me stand a little straighter, breathe a little deeper, knowing that I'm being watched over by the ghosts of Shakers, Quakers, Transcendentalists, ascetics, early American religious zealots--the tough-love, radical, school-marmy Protestentism that speaks to my soul even more than yoga does. It's all there in the clapboard houses and chapels.

I'm reading, not incidentally, an absorbing book called The Possibility of Altruism by a contemporary philosopher named Thomas Nagel. How refreshing it is to read non-New Age philosophy that is nevertheless positive and respectful and optimistic about human nature.

And, hey! Did you know that Anthony LaPaglia is Australian??

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club--their new album is good. Details later.

I stay away from politics in this glob, but I think this post by my friend Chris sums up exactly what I'm feeling about Bush right now.

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