December is an awfully busy month.  I don’t know how I feel about that.  Things are insane at work, so much so that my voice sounds just slightly wrong to me because I’ve been talking on the phone so much that I’m a little bit hoarse all the time.  But it does make the day go by quickly, so there’s that!  We’re all back in the cubicle farm, which is kind of depressing, but one of my coworkers just gave me a tiny stuffed cow whom I have named Elsie, and now she actually has a desk to sit on.  I guess I can be happy for Elsie’s sake.  This weekend is going to be all kinds of awesome, however, because they let us get off work at 3 today, and we’re not going back until Tuesday morning!  I intend to have loads of fun and be immensely productive.  The former, at least, will almost surely happen.

Here’s all kinds of stuff from the internet.

Geekery:

Beauty:
Hilarity:
For your information:

Music:

Dude.  The Consolation of Philosophy turned out to be brilliant.  I highly recommend it!  It’s very short, but very dense.  I think I fully digested maybe one-half of what was actually contained in the book.  I thoroughly enjoyed Boethius’ devastatingly logical approach to the huge questions in life.  It reminded me of something, and at first I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I finally figured out that it was very reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’ theological writings.  It has that same inexorable logic and the same exquisite arguments.  Then I felt pretty dumb, because 5 minutes of Googling revealed that C.S. Lewis was VERY well-acquainted with Boethius, and everyone knew this except me.  In 1962, Lewis wrote a list of ten books that  influenced him most.  Consolation of Philosophy was number 7.  He wrote essays on it and was quite the fanboy.  I will be the first to admit that Lewis’ reading tastes can be terribly, intimidatingly dry (and that’s coming from someone who enjoys medieval lit), but trust me, Consolation is worth a look.

Now I’m reading The Nibelungenlied, a Middle German epic poem from the 12th century, give or take a few dozen years.  I’m reading that in translation as well, obviously.  I know the story pretty well–or I thought I did.  I had always believed that Nibelungenlied was derived from the Volsunga Saga of Iceland, with which I’m very familiar.  Turns out it’s more of a parallel (yet distinctly different) work, and I’m finding as I go along that I much prefer the Icelandic version.  The Middle German version tweaks the story to fit a courtly medieval period; The Nibelungenlied is to the Volsunga Saga what Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur is to the Welsh Arthurian stories.  In both instances, I prefer the older foundations of the tales to the flowery, often contradictory retellings.  Still, I have to say that the Nibelungenlied (again, like Morte d’Arthur) is pretty darn entertaining, and well worth your time if you’re into Germanic medieval literature.  (Please, who isn’t?)

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