(Two entries in one day?! Don’t be alarmed. The story of my Friday just went on for so long that I put it in a separate post.)

New word, new word! “Kvell” means “to be extraordinarily pleased; esp., to be bursting with pride, as over one’s family,” and it comes from Yiddish “kveln” meaning “to be delighted.” You’re welcome.

I’ve been watching the insects and spiders with great interest these days. I have a spider colony growing outside my door. I don’t mind bugs at all, and I find spider webs rather pretty, so I’ve just left them alone. For a while, they kept eating each other, and that was entertaining too, but now I think they’re forming a coalition to work together and bring down a common enemy (me, presumably). Two mornings in a row, they spun webs right across my door, precisely at face level. Let me just say right now that picking cobwebs out of one’s teeth is a terrible way to start a Monday morning. For the most part, however, they’ve been biding their time, and I’ve been biding mine. Your move, arachnids…but I warn you: you may start this, but I’ll finish it. *brandishes can of Raid*

The spiders are kept fat and sassy by a constant diet of insane moths and dragonflies the size of bricks. I’m only slightly exaggerating: the dragonfly I saw today had to be at least seven inches long. And the moths really are insane. I saw one flutter spastically straight into a spider web, wrench itself free, bonk around in a zany manner for a minute, then fly straight back in. Not brightest of chaps, moths. I have some fascinating ones that look like giant leaves, and some orange ones, and some bright green ones, so if they can’t be smart, at least they’ve still got their looks.

When last we left our heroine, I was just starting Mr. Midshipman Easy by Captain Frederick Marryat, which is a fictionalized story of Marryat’s own experience in the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era. Obviously, this is right up my alley. Regrettably, though, I did not enjoy Marryat’s work nearly so much as the Horatio Hornblower books by C.S. Forester. Marryat actually lived during the time period, while Forester lived about a hundred years later; perhaps that has something to do with it. Or possibly it was the social satire axe that Marryat had a penchant for grinding. Either way, while the book was enjoyable, it was not at all enthralling.

I finished up A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner with all of the reading night ladies, at long last. I think we started that book back in March. I’m a little hazy now as to what happened at the beginning, but I remember that I liked it! I didn’t enjoy it quite so much as the first three books in the series, I confess. It didn’t follow my favorite characters as much (one was conspicuously absent altogether!), which may have been part of it. Timing can affect my opinion a lot too, though, and I read the trilogy at the precise moment when I badly needed a lighthearted distraction from exams. I need to get up some exam-week-type stress and reread it. Still, even with all of that, I liked the fourth book very much, and I’m thinking copies of the Attolia series as a whole need to be on the list of my near-future acquisitions.

I also read The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad. Conrad is one of those authors I’m not particularly enamored with during the actual reading of the story, but whom I enjoy ruminating on and discussing later. I would’ve liked to have read this story for a class; I think it would spark some good discussion. As it is, there’s no one to shoot down my half-baked idea that the captain was (spoiler!) actually just schizophrenic. Ah well!

As mentioned in the below post, now I’m rereading the Poetic Edda, a very old collection of Norse mythology. Nice to return to old favorites, and now I have my very own copy to underline the daylights out of. 😀

I’ve been scrounging around the internet a bit lately, and I found a lot of cool blogs. Finding new stuff is fun, and then you get to go link-hopping: one blog links to another blog, which links to another blog, which links to a bunch of cool stuff, and before you know it you’re looking at a video of a guy in a giant bat suit terrorizing the citizens of Paris.

Ettiquette Hell, where people post stories of other people being so shockingly rude that you’re not quite sure the tales can possibly be true. On the one hand, depressing, but on the other, hilarious and vindicating. I’m a stickler for a lot of etiquette rules because I believe most of them serve a purpose, helping to smooth human interaction and make it more pleasant. I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS!
BP twitter. Everybody vilifies BP, and I don’t think the whole blame-slinging thing is productive, but this is still awfully funny.

Ten-foot catfish threatened by dams. Are you sure? I think this thing could punch through the dam.
I’ve never seen so many gators in my life.
Sneezing baby panda. Not going to lie, I laughed for at least five minutes straight the first time I saw this.

Walking across America in Levis, set to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, which is one of my favorite songs and which is also apparently EVERYWHERE all of a sudden.
Parkour…with LADDERS?? I have *got* to get one of these. Where do I sign up?
BREATHE. Please.
Chladni singing.
How much Hipster can you pack into a Jazz? Heaps.
Always wear your seat belt. I’m torn thinking this is hilarious and thinking it’s sweet.
The man cold.

Dogs. Sweet potatoes. Hilarity.
Doing 250 uncharacteristic things in one year: a blog.
The Squeakquel.
Neuroscience taught by kittens. I can’t believe I just posted that.
“Great mountains of cheese. We must climb. And eat. And make sandwiches… All the way to the top.””> Behold, the blog of Sleep Talkin’ Man, some dude who says the most bizarre things in the world while asleep. His wife records them and posts them on the blog. This is made all the more surreal by the fact that he has a British accent. (Warning: Sleep Talkin’ Man has a bit of a potty mouth.)

JJ Abrams to produce Boilerplate. I fail to see how this can be anything other than awesome.
Pencil tip sculptures.
Photography Served has some lovely stuff.
How to be alone. I almost completely agree with this.

Now go to bed!