It was raining the other morning while I was at work, and I happened to look up as the mailman walked by the office. He was wearing what must have been some sort of standard mailman poncho, but something about it made it look just like a mid-length cape, and he immediately and forcefully reminded me of Lando Calrissian. The colors were even the same! Too cool. (Also, wow, does the word “poncho” ever look odd.)

This entry might get long!

Things in this world that you should see:
The Fictional Science Adventures of Squid and Owl.
Along the same lines as the above, except this one’s real! Those crazy octopus kids and their coconuts. What is this world coming to?
Guerrilla Handbell Strikeforce: Improv Everywhere maintains their title of Awesome.
Flowers for Faye has a new video!
Newly Discovered Planet Could Be a Watery World. With a title like that, was I the only one who thought of Water World? I would also like to point out that Charbonneau is a great name. It makes me want to write some sort of story featuring a protagonist by the name of Charbonneau who is dashing, witty, good with a sword, fond of good wine, and secretly terrified of spiders.

Speaking of dashing, witty protagonists with swords reminds me of Zorro, which reminds me of Robin Hood, which reminds me, have you seen the trailer for the new Robin Hood movie? If not, here it is. I’m actually not terribly impressed, intriguing cinematography aside. This may have something to do with my aversion to Russell Crowe (I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I find him incredibly repulsive, to the point that Master and Commander, which I should have adored, was brought down to only moderate levels of coolness solely because of his presence). It may also have something to do with my hyper-protectiveness towards the Robin Hood legend. I love the legend in most of its many forms and interpretations, but I’m still leery of it every time there’s a new one because I love it so much I’m afraid they’ll hurt it.

There are some elements in stories that I will always love, no matter where I meet them. I have yet to figure out why I feel so passionately about some of these things (and some are things I don’t even really like in real life, but I’m guaranteed to fall madly in love with in literature). One of them is stealing for an honorable cause – Robin Hood and Zorro are two of my all-time favorite legends. But that one is so easily ruined, it seems; modern retellings make it less about the rightness of the cause and more about vengeance or politics of what have you. Don’t take away what makes it worth loving!

Another favorite is the combination of beauty and sadness, which is what first drew me to the Arthurian legends. There’s a particular feel of that mixture that is unmatched in anything else, with the glory days of the ideal centuries ahead of its time, Camelot, and its tragic downfall. Closely related, though, is the combination of courage and doom that one finds in old Norse poetry. The hero will fail, it is inevitable (or so it often seems, and often is in Norse myth), but how brave and glorious is the failing! In those stories, death is worth dying. Which brings me to another element I admire, dying for a right cause or for a friend. I’m not talking about the comparatively paltry retellings where the sacrifice is spur-of-the-moment; stepping in front of a gun doesn’t leave one time to think about it. I mean the merciless, completely thought-out decision to set in motion the events that will lead to one’s destruction and to another’s salvation or to the triumph of right (Jean Valjean comes to mind as an illustration for this element). And in that line of the calm, well-thought-out, I love the stories of pristinely logical characters who nonetheless possess great potential for emotion (Sherlock Holmes and Spock, anyone?). Destructive power under a tight leash in general is fascinating, but more so when it’s the destructive power of the mind, I think. More is said by the small shadings of emotion than in the mawkish bawlings of most characters written in our time. I also love epic friendships (Frodo and Sam); I love epic hatreds that are forced into epic friendships upon the mutual recognition of greatness in the other person. I love the clean sweep of open spaces in stories. I’m not sure how else to describe that feeling you get of pure landscapes while reading some books, even if they don’t take place in a setting like that. More of a landscape of ideas, maybe.

Er…what was I saying before all of this? I don’t remember!

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