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Tarrying With the Negative - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Tarrying With the Negative
While Kim was enjoying some much-needed alone time this evening, Skylar and I engaged in a series of pleasant pursuits. First I took her to the basketball court at Manzanita, where she practiced dribbling, showed me the bounce pass that her friend Haley taught her, and made her first two baskets ever (on the kid's height hoop, of course). Then she chased me around the court playing defender in a manner eerily similar to her mother while I illustrated the virtue of being able to switch the ball fluidly from one hand to the other.

From there we went to AJ's for the first time in weeks, where she ate her usual chicken breast, cheddar cheese and baguette and I had a small portion of overpriced spaghetti and meatballs. Then we headed to Crate & Barrel, where we picked out some lovely Christmas ornaments with which to put the finishing touches on the family tree. I never feel the full holiday spirit till I indulge in some hanging of ornaments and the inevitable rehanging of ones I need to displace in order to make room for the former.

Afterwards, we returned to AJ's, where we had matching milks to accompany a slice of "mondo" chocolate cake. During the messy munching, Skylar informed me that her math teacher has had to ask her to stop using negative numbers, because they aren't supposed to be doing that yet. "But I love negative numbers, dad," she lamented. Is this a girl destined to revel in the reading of Adorno or what?

Upon returning home, I hung the new ornaments while Skylar made Christmas presents for Simba, her mother and me. We took two of her Crate & Barrel-purchased moonstones -- you can get a whole bag of polished-smooth ones there -- outside to see what happens to them in the moonlight. Although it was cloudy, you could still see a whitish glow deep within them. We're going to try again tomorrow.

Bedtime reading was restricted to Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go, which remains one of my favorites and hers, even though the page about the "Waiting Place" fills me with existential angst and the one with the monstrous beast in a cave makes me think every time of James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, where the narrator describes fleeing the bulldog in his yard only to find that it has made the transatlantic voyage to confront him in Paris.

Kim finally returned, Simba in tow, and gave Skylar a goodnight kiss before taking her migraine medicine. I tried unsuccessfully to call a friend, began writing another entry about why I'm not writing much in this space, and then switched gears to share my evening.

Mode: smiling
Muse: Beretta - Manishevitz - City Life

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Comments
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: December 14th, 2005 04:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
If I ever return to Tucson for a significant amount of time, we'll have to ball it up. I love basketball -- it's the only sport besides bowling that I'm really any good at.

My last year in TUcson, I regained an appreciation for physical exertion that had been lost to me since age 13 and began playing at the courts off Main Street just north of 'downtown.'



cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 14th, 2005 04:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'd love to. I'm not very good, mind you. And I can't play on hard courts much, due to my advanced age. But I'm game for wood.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: December 14th, 2005 04:41 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That bit about Adorno, about Baldwin--love the turns of mind and phrase.

I was re-reading Adorno in pieces the other day. Still angry I was thwarted all this summer in pursuit of _Minima Moralia_.

Not to speak of negatives, per se, but something. Had Bach on all this morning, all his counterpoints and fuguing lines. It made me glad my dad once gave me _Goedel, Escher, and Bach_, which I've never fully cracked or even close. I want to now, again. Another time.
From: bobo_amargo Date: December 14th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

I was an I

My Adorno remains patchy, but Derrida's critique of the passage in Hegel's _Phenomenology_ from which you get your subject line is a good example of what deconstruction, by his lights, was. To harbor too robust a sense of the discrete negative is to sustain an appetite for what in the early years was called (metaphysical) presence. And the passage in Hegel shows why: "tarrying with the negative" is but a stage on the way of Spirit's life-as-Aufhebung. At the end of the day, the negative becomes a permanent positive.

To your list of texts, I'd like to add Bishop's "In the Waiting Room."
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