I like the idea of rummaging, of holding things up, turning them over,
opening up to surprises and renewed perspective in the ordinary or offcast
thing. A rapid-fire what could I do with a thing such as this? When I was
a kid, it was always "rummage sale." "Yard sale" and "garage sale" were less
common (though not altogether tame). Maybe the rummage sale is a regional
coinage–finding odds and ends (i.e., junk) for sale meant rummaging in the
rural Great Lakes vernacular. Just a guess. Disarrangement in the midst of
worthlessness or, who gives a damn how it’s spread out on the picnic table.
A rummaging disposition is what sets in when I haven’t blogged for a few
days. Lots of incidental and fleeting topics blink and fade in the fuzzy
periphery of purpose-driven dailiness. I mean that there’s plenty to write
about, but much of the striking minutiae is overlooked, passed by altogether. No
doubt this felt sense is a symptom of my own fluttery rhythms in recent weeks.
I’ve read intensely for exams, in bursts of preparation, then laid off, spending
time with other important stuff instead. For better or worse, there have been a
few more lurches in these few weeks than in any semester during the two years of
Catalogued rummage, then, involves the listy-ness of a catalogue with the
attitude or stance of the rummager. It provokes and evades the "so what?" rather
than squarely answering it ("I’ll tell you what: the whole set for five
cents!"). And then flips a nickel in the air, just in case there’s something of
- Dogville‘s been sitting here for more than two weeks, but I can’t
find the three hours I need to devote to watching it. Maybe somebody can just
tell me it stinks so I can drop it back in the Netflix envelope.
- Dr. Pepper ads now emphasize its 23 flavors (er, 506 pairs of flavors and
10,626 flavor trios). Oh yeah? Then why oh why do we need a product like
Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper?
- I sent off a book review today. Signed the copyright transfer agreement
and slipped it into the mail. Reward: two sweetly brushed hours of
- I need a new umbrella.
- TV shows I’m hooked on this fall season: Heroes, Studio 60 on
the Sunset Strip, and Lost.
- Reading Bazerman on discursively structured activities. And thinking about
discursively unstructured activities (i.e., mayhem) and discursively structured
inactivity. Yep, language does.