If I can manage to get around to actually doing it, I would like to write an overly long dissertation on the new Sherlock episode.  In all seriousness, it was so good and had so many subtle points I would like to address that it made me want to write a paper on it.  Just thought I’d warn you.


Educate yourself:


  • If you aren’t familiar with the work of Marc Johns, you should rectify that situation right this very minute.
  • They think they shall cross my lands unimpeded?
  • I don’t know if the rest of you watch British vloggers (though, if you’re not, what’s wrong with you?), but if you do, you should check out Charlie (not to be confused with the unicorn), who manages to make everything (including silly things like dyeing his hair red) fantastic in a highly amusing, British sort of way.  Also, he’s part of Chameleon Circuit, a band I’ve mentioned before because they write songs about Doctor Who and are immensely talented at the same time.  I don’t mean to make it sound like that’s a rare thing, but…well.


Years ago, one of my favorite English professors had a classful of us over for dinner to meet two of her friends (also English professors) and to discuss Southern American literature.   Seeing three old friends talk with one another was beautiful, and their conversation held all of us completely in thrall.  These three women were brilliant in their respective fields, utterly hilarious, and had tremendous strength of friendship.  We talked about many authors, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is Flannery O’Connor.  Until that evening, I had pretty ambivalent feelings about Flannery O’Connor’s writing.  After hearing one of the friends, a brilliant Flannery scholar, hold forth on the topic, I was inspired to read every short story O’Connor ever wrote.  This woman’s passion for O’Connor’s work was so strong that she made me love her work too.  I remember the professor quoting Flannery, explaining her work’s violent turning points to shock spiritually complacent readers: “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.”  The professor recommended the biography Flannery by Brad Gooch, and I finally read it this week.  The above quote was in the book, and I was suddenly transported back to my professor’s living room, sitting on cushions and drinking coffee and talking about wonderful books.

Now I’m reading The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck, which is sort of a retelling of Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur.  Steinbeck is SUCH a Malory fanboy, it’s absolutely adorable.  Somehow I’ve never read much at all of Steinbeck–a terrible oversight in my education, clearly, and one I intend to rectify.  On the first day of the new year, Sam and I went to one of our favorite used bookstores in Raleigh, and there was an older man in there with a couple of his grand kids.  They were checking out a large pile of books, and the grandfather said, “This kid here, he’s in the sixth grade and he’s working his way through all of Steinbeck’s works.  Now he’s going through all of Agatha Christie.”  The kid looked bashful.  I wanted to run straight over and hug him and tell him he was marvelous, but I figured I might get arrested or something.  His existence made my whole week, though.