Coffee-Makers, Deprivations, Indulgence, Affordances

A few weeks ago I broke the quasi-bakelite handle of my stovetop coffee-maker. Rather, it broke by itself: as I poured the hot, steaming liquor into my mug the handle snapped and the coffee-maker crashed to the counter-top, spilling some coffee, but mercifully, not scalding or burning anyone. I have some affection for this venerableContinue reading “Coffee-Makers, Deprivations, Indulgence, Affordances”

A Bodily Memory, Re-Evoked

Today, after a several-month-long gap thanks to my sabbatical leave, I am ensconced again in my university campus office. (I made the trip in today to meet a doctoral student and to attend to some bureaucratic matters.) My journey to campus–a half-hour walk as usual, preceded by dropping off my daughter at daycare–was uneventful, remindingContinue reading “A Bodily Memory, Re-Evoked”

The Author’s Offspring, the Finished Deal

A few days ago, I received my author copies of my latest book. Five paperbacks, neatly bundled up in a cardboard parcel bearing an impressive array of stamps and customs bills. I tore open the cardboard (with my bare hands, no less!) Inside, they were wrapped up in clear plastic, neatly and tightly stacked onContinue reading “The Author’s Offspring, the Finished Deal”

The Physical Dimensions of Writing

Writing is a physical activity. This fact is quite well known to schoolchildren who write–with pencils and pens–diligently, and at length on their notebooks. (It must have been known too, to Georges Simenon, whose fingers must have needed dousing in ice water after his daily ritual of prolific pencil-fueled writing.) But it is even commonContinue reading “The Physical Dimensions of Writing”

Physical and Psychological Affordance

According to Wikipedia, ‘an¬†affordance¬†is a quality of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action. For example, a knob affords twisting, and perhaps pushing, while a cord affords pulling.’ (A photograph of a tea set in the Wikipedia entry bears the caption, ‘The handles on this tea set provide anContinue reading “Physical and Psychological Affordance”