Today was a tiring, good day. To balance the weekend, tomorrow will probably be a mostly-lazy day. I opened the day with a jog where I confirmed that winter has stolen a good amount of my health. It's a good indicator that I should jog a bit more. On the way to the plays, I spotted a new restaurant called The Library, and thought their schtick of putting books on everyone's table was cute, so I had a nice, moderately expensive dinner. Their food was rather good - I had duck cooked/served in a style I tend to consider Chinese, with veggies and hard noodle "chips" on the side. The atmosphere was rather nice, with a few caveats -- for the first half of my meal the bar part of my restaurant was very loud, and there was a TV visible from where I was sitting. The floor also bent a bit when waiters went by. Otherwise, it felt like a pretty geeky restaurant, and the waiters and managers were very friendly (the manager was amused that I was the first person who actually was reading during a meal there - I brought an issue of a behavioural psychology booklet from the free stuff table on 3rd floor baker) - the place apparently opened two days ago.
As for the plays, they were worth seeing, they continued to push the envelope in ways that would make people uncomfortable, and they were also quite awesome. dot.carnal was probably the most disturbing, and fall from glaze was the funniest. The theatre was unfortunately very cold, and a number of people were shivering and kavetching during the break -- I suppose former giant factories split into parts are naturally not the most comfortable place for theatre. This time I noticed that some of the artists might have lived there, based on some signs on the walls pointing upwards to living quarters. This reminds me a bit of the artist commune I had the pleasure of visiting in Columbus (although not nearly as intense because they're performers - the devote-their-life-to-it painters that I've known generally tend to be more intense and out there than theatre types. Being heavily disconnected with society and maybe reality on some deep level might sometimes even be a plus for a painter or some other types of artist, but would probably not work for theatre).
More on that booklet -- I don't normally read much behavioural psychology, and have been having an interesting time reading this one - it studies development of "moral sense" in children. While the science is useful and interesting, I really dislike the framework the researchers are using for morality. I get the impression that the morality they describe is based on some universal notion, but it doesn't seem to be described, just implied in passing dozens of times throughout the work. As I understand it, what they call moral development would be better understood as children expanding their notions of identity to partially include others as empathy develops. I suppose in psychology we're going to see a lot of struggle over basic terms in research when it touches on areas where culture has something to say. It's a continual struggle to find better (albeit more alien to "common knowledge") ways to conceptualise psychology in terms where we can do science without stumbling over naïve intuitions.
I realise that I miss the Columbus art scene a lot - once introduced to the right people and accepted by them as more than a distant audience, there were a number of great conversations to be had and a lot of art that was primarily made to be shared with other artists. I would guess that initially my friendships with a few key people got me in the door to see some of these things - I don't think I really appreciated how precious those open doors were until some time after I had already moved out of town - getting access to the not-for-the-general-art-public crowd and the most reclusive artists would take an incredible effort here, I think. I guess dating another artist who's not overly tied to the academic side of the art world would do it, if that were to happen :) I find it interesting how segmented the art world is - it was interesting watching Martha deal heavily with the non-academic artists while still going down the academic path. Most of the people she introduced me to were of the non-academic sort who did barely what it took to get by moneywise and devoted most of their after-work efforts to art. I found it beautiful how distant their perspectives were from mainstream society - that most of them didn't have TVs, the funding for some of their lifestyles were really bizarre (one guy did dangerous seasonal fishing in alaska and made enough money in three months for him to live in reasonable comfort for the rest of the year), and finding common ground for a conversation outside of art wasn't going to happen for a fair subset of them because art was almost all of what they lived for.