I didn’t update last week because I was off camping in the wilds of Eno River Park! It was glorious, if rather sticky, and we saw a multitude of copperheads and water moccasins, which kept things from getting boring. At all. Fortunately, no one needed to be airlifted to the nearest emergency room, so I call that a good trip.

The first time I heard the name Ulan Bator, I thought it must be the most magical place in the world. In fact, I thought it must’ve been from a fantasy book. However, it is actually the capital of Mongolia. Is it weird to travel to a place about which you know nothing solely because of its name? …Of course not.

Wake Up, by my hilarious little brother.
I ain’t stealin’ from Captain Jack. Darn right.
Whale whisperer.
Hybrids. You know how’ve never heard of a thing, and then you do, and all of a sudden it’s everywhere? That’s how grolars have been for me lately. I read they can also be called pizzlies, but that just sounds ridiculous.
Tree branch falls on power lines. Sounds like tiny, tiny Nazgul.
Incredible one-legged DDR.
The best street-drummer in the world.
Happiness Machine.
Bronte Sisters Power Dolls. I scavenged this from someone, but I have no idea whom.
Muppet Improv with Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
Unusual hotels, including hobbit holes.
Zombie satellite, made only better by the fact that it was one of the satellites relaying the Syfy channel. Doubtless, this is the beginning of a scifi/horror movie.
Greatest sling-shot man ever.
The world is your playground. This is so, so cool.
The hipster song. *feels ever so slightly guilty*
Eagle owl in flight.
Astonishing paper illustrations, found by Rachael.
Paper cuts, also discovered by Rachael!

I found the old animated Gullver’s Travels movie on youtube a while back, and I think you all should hear the song that always gets stuck in my head for days. Starts around 3:50.

Shardik was really disappointing. Why, Richard Adams, why?? I guess it could be good, if you’re someone else, but I just found it all exceedingly boring and not compelling. I could tell I was supposed to be compelled. I dunno. Maybe if I’d read it for a class where we could’ve thrashed out the symbolism, I would’ve enjoyed it more. As it was, I dragged through it at a snail’s pace and felt like I’d collapsed after running a marathon when I finally did finish it. After that I read The Galactic Pot Healer by Phillip K. Dick, my first of his novels. It was quite enjoyable; I think I’ll hunt up some of his other works. I’m quite a fan of his short stories. Right now I’m working on The Archer’s Tale by Bernard Cornwell, renowned historical adventure writer. (Oo, that phrase made me feel like such a book critic. Anytime I use the word “renowned,” I simultaneously feel very professional and very silly. Also, it always looks misspelled.) I haven’t read much of Cornwell, but I did enjoy the first book in his Arthurian series, The Winter King. His works feel extremely real, somehow. They’re gritty in the sense that, well, everyone’s kind of grimy, which makes a lot of sense to me, and while often he’s describing violent historical times, he’s very matter-of-fact about it. He doesn’t linger over the descriptions or make them too lurid. He reminds me a bit of a history writer, which makes a lot of sense. It’s like he’s saying, “Here’s the story, and I’m going to tell it, and it’ll be amazing, but I’m not going to make this sensational. This is what happened, at least in this fictional history, and the facts speak for themselves.” Anyway, I’ll report on how things go with the archer.