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Friday, June 17, 2005

visual comparisons

item: noting the differences in shape between my parent's new car, a Prius, and the old car, a Tercel.

emotional state: mostly content, tho emerging from a tense conversation with my sister.

location: front porch


item: spatial task of loading the dishwasher

emotional state: making jokes to lighten the mood, but it's not working. so i'm feeling a bit bad about making my sister feel worse.

location: kitchen. Alicia and Mom and I are talking about berry picking and Alicia is playing the role of "grumpy person".

Thursday, June 16, 2005


item: listening to a radio caller's report of epilepsy and cognitive difficulty.

emotional state: attentive, multi-tasking with a product search on the web (hanging scales for my father).

location: desk

an ellipse

item: evaluating the look of an ellipse recently drawn in Illustrator.

emotional state: concentration, multi-tasking.

location: desk.

pushing tapes

item: organizing DV tapes on the dresser - box 7 was reviewed while in Sta. Cruz? yes. I think so. it goes on top of this pile.

emotional state: curious about radio program I am listening to, somewhat off-put by speakers.

location: room.

cell phone interference

item: concern for the intelligibility of Michael's telephone conversation.

emotional state: momentary anxiety

location: the kitchen. Michael is having reception problems in the basement, emerges to the kitchen to find a loud radio further obscuring his conversation. He is saying "can you hear me now?"


item: the feel and sound of a zipper.

emotional state: normal

location: bedroom

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

unsolicited phone calls

item: replaying in my head the phrase "unsolicited phone calls", after my sister has just said, "why should I answer unsolicited phone calls?"

emotional state: slightly agitated, but in good humor. "i need to get more things done today" is the source of the agitation.

location: hallway in front of Alicia's room, with mom.

filing cabinet

item: awareness of the floor's frictional resistance to my efforts to push this filing cabinet back into the corner of the room.

emotional state: all business

location: my room. setting up office space.

casa mamita

item: the vocalization of the phrase "Casa Mamita", which is the name of an off-brand tortilla chip. I like the sound of that phrase, and I frequently repeat it when I'm eating tortilla chips.

emotional state: content, procrastinating.

location: kitchen w/ Alicia and Mom.

wind in trees

item: listening to wind in trees.

emotional state: relaxed, happy. it's a nice breeze that I can also feel and smell.

location: at desk.

Al Gore

item: saw a reference to Al Gore in a magazine, wondered about his claim to have 'invented the internet', tried to remember where I read about the creation of the prototype of the internet by the ... state department?

emotional state: normal, tired, idly contemplative.

location: living room couch.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

looking for pants

item: where are my swimming trunks? did i see them in this bag recently? catch a glimpse of a rainbow in a prism by the window.

emotional state: irritated

location: cluttered room in the midst of unpacking.

Start of Consciousness Diary

This blog is the result of an online course I'm now taking through the University of Arizona. The course is called "Consciousness: the Webcourse". I like the title.

This blog is based on the first lab activity for the course, which is:
Carry a small notebook with you and a timer of some sort (cell phone alarm, pager, or PDA). Set the alarm to sound at random intervals 4 times a day. When the alarm sounds, write down the date and time, where you are, what activity you’re engaged in, your emotional state, and the simple contents of your awareness. That is, the SIMPLE CONTENTS OF AWARENESS. This is harder than we might think. Record contents of awareness without interpretation in a short phrase, i.e. “my stomach is rumbling,” “those clouds are wispy,” “tired of waiting in line,” “wonder what the new course postings will be.” Try to be specific and succinct. Continue recording for 7 or more days.

At the end of 7 days, see what kinds of patterns you observe in your data. If you are so inclined, categorize and quantify your findings.

Possible questions you might ask yourself are:
  • What kinds of contents did I record? What was most frequent?
  • What kinds of emotions did I record? Which is most frequent?
  • Is there any relation between time of day and content? Between time of day and affect?
  • Is there a relation between activity and content?
  • Where do I seem to spend my mental time?
  • What else did you discover?
We find that people are often quite surprised to learn exactly how they spend their mental time and how their conscious contents relate to time, place, and affect. What is your experience?