I attended a fabulous Marian Call house concert in a small purple house in Raleigh this weekend.  I’m sorry you’re so jealous, but it is understandable.  In several songs she played a typewriter named Lily, which was sitting on a gargantuan, exquisite dictionary.  During the mid-concert break, our extremely tolerant host broke out his first edition Fellowship of the Ring, and all of us bookish nerds clustered around and took pictures and held it reverently.  All in all, a marvelous afternoon!

My apartment is the last in complex, and there are woods relatively close by on two sides.  The schizophrenic weather lately means that I’ve had my windows wide open a lot, and late the other night I was jolted from my internet perusing by a cacophony of howls coming from the woods.  Either there’s a pack of feral dogs roaming the Apex area, or there was a pack of coyotes in the woods.  Sounded like coyotes to me, but I haven’t heard a coyote since we moved away from Indiana.  We lived in the woods there, and we used to hear them all the time.  I missed it; I’m so separated from most of the nature sounds I grew up with.  There were two trees outside my bedroom window in Indiana that rubbed together when the wind was just right, and they creaked and grumbled and squealed.  It was pretty scary when we first moved, but I grew to love the crazy sounds, and I really missed it when we left.  Screech owls used to startle me too: if you’ve never heard them before, they sound like a small child or baby animal crying piteously, especially from a distance.  I ended up loving that sound, too (though barn owls are still creepy as all get-out to me).  My life now is so civilized by comparison, it’s downright depressing.  (Though I do hear foxes at my parents’ house occasionally…there’s a sound to freeze the blood, if you don’t know what it is.)

I did, however, enjoy the brief snowfall we had a couple weeks ago.  It was the night of our party, so we had a posse of friends over, and as they were all leaving we had a slushball fight and had a glorious time getting very wet.  The whole evening was wonderful; we haven’t all managed to get together in a long time.

Last week I decided on the spur of the moment to make my own salsa, so I went to the store to hem and haw over various kinds of peppers for way too long.  I put jalapenos, pepperoncini peppers, garlic, and onion into the blender because I don’t have a food processor.  When I took the lid off of the blender, the smell just about knocked me back across the room, so I figured that was either a sign of good salsa or effective tear gas, one or the other.  The final product was delicious, but I couldn’t eat it if I planned on going anywhere for a day or so afterwards.  I’m making another batch this week. 😛

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After The Winter King, I read all of The Enemy of God and went straight into Excalibur, the last book in Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian trilogy.  It’s hard to review these novels separately; one book begins right where the other one ends, and it’s all one big story anyway.  I’ve definitely become sucked in: I stayed up until the wee hours on the aforementioned salsa night to finish Enemy of God.  I’m really enjoying the books, for the most part, in a slightly guilt-ridden way—it’s a bloody, pagan mess, which is probably perfectly accurate for the time period.  Still, the series has its redeeming qualities, and I’m not likely to become a Druid anytime soon.

Our Latin group has expanded into a reading group as well.  We’re tackling Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a book per week, after bashing our heads against Latin grammar every session.  We chickened out and are reading it in English, but every once in a while the professor brings out the original Latin, and it’s making for some fascinating discussion so far.

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