Reportedly posted by Ernest Shackleton in London newspapers preparatory to setting off on an expedition to the Antarctic:

“MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES,
BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS,
CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOR AND
RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.”

I think if I had been in London then, I would’ve found that desperately intriguing. The Shackleton expedition is still fascinating to me. Did I tell you about my favorite part of The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot? If so, you get to hear it again.

“Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?”

Eliot put in a footnote that this was inspired by the Shackleton expedition, which, at the very end of endurance, suffered from the constant delusion that there was always one more in their party than could actually be counted. This is one of those ideas that sparks so many more ideas, you don’t know quite what to do with it, so you put it in the back corner of your mind to calm itself down for a while.

Danielle found this, and it is wonderful: a website all about accents. I especially love the female from Moscow, under Russian. There’s a long pause over the word “scoop,” then she finally just goes, “eh, I don’t know.”

Abby already posted this in her journal, but it’s so cool that I feel the pressing need to pass it on, especially to Sarah, who will love it: Computer monster.

You know that 11th Star Trek movie? No? I’m not surprised. But *I* knew about it, mwahaha. Anyway, they announced who will be playing young Spock. He doesn’t look particularly…Spockish. I don’t know how I feel about this. He’s apparently already popular from being on Heroes. If they *had* to do a movie with a young Kirk and Spock, I wish they could’ve gotten some unknown to play the leads. Leonard Nimoy, no matter how much he fights it, will always be Spock and no one else, and that’s how it should be for this new guy, too. If the rumors of Matt Damon being cast as Kirk are true, I shall simply have to hurt someone. Speaking of Leonard, he will be putting on the ears one last time for the 11th movie as well, so that, at least, is cool. Spock is marvelous. Come on, you can’t tell me you didn’t get weepy at the end of The Wrath of Khan. Boy, I really hope someone reading this has even SEEN The Wrath of Khan, or I’ll feel horrendously geeky all by my lonesome.

I’ve been doing a good bit of running lately since all I do is sit at the office all day, and I feel pretty restless by the time I get home. This is well and good except A. it’s been over 100 and B. it gets boring. To foil A. I’ve been running at night, and to defeat B. I…well…I’m a traitor. I got a Zen Stone. An mp3 player. Me, the queen of tirades against what mp3 players/ipods are doing to our civilization. You may now heap vitriolic, scathing insults upon my head. But the thing is so…cute. And light, and teeny tiny, and it looks just like a shiny black pebble sitting on my hand. I think I’m going to have to name it, when I think of something suitable. Anyway, he is my new running companion, and we’re getting along quite well.

Speaking of running, after rescuing that nighthawk a week or two ago, there’s been a nighthawk that follows me sometimes when I run. It flies parallel to me, swoops back and forth over my head, and dips all around the dusk dizzily. Same one? Or, as Dad suggested, just after the mosquitos that are after me? But that’s so much more prosaic.

I had this very intense and complicated dream about a giant pteradactyl the other night, and I wish I could remember more of it. It was vaguely akin to one I had in which aliens were taking over the city we were all in. That sounds very scifi but it was more apocalyptic, very epic. The pteradactyl dream had the same high-stakes-this-is-for-real-folks feel to it. I had another that I feel like I really need to remember for some reason, but all I can recall is that I had broken the radius in my right arm during a desperate struggle, and it didn’t really hurt much, but I could tell it was a compound fracture. The dream felt very important, though, like if I could just remember the two people I had been struggling with, it would mean something vital. There was also something incredibly important involving horses. One day I will be fleeing from a pack of evil somethings and I will need a horse and this information will save my life and possibly the world, if I could just remember it. …oh well.

Hmm, books. I finished Lord Jim, and I thought it was very good. I think I had gotten used to his style enough to be able to dig through the layers a little more. I am now almost done (finally!) with The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I must say, I feel a little bad for loathing this book so much, but it’s incredibly tedious. I know that I have a hard time getting past stylistic things that I dislike in a book (see my other post about frame narratives), and it feels like this book is a horrible translation, for which I have no patience. I know intellectually that the ideas are probably good and they’re just poorly expressed when translated to my language, but emotionally I just hate the awkwardness, and it distracts me from the ideas too much. That’s my rationalization, anyway, because I was quite prepared to love the book. Sigh. Only 100 pages more to go…

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