You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2012.

Very sad week. 😦  Cole, Sam’s dog, passed away, and the dogless apartment isn’t the same.  I didn’t realize how much I talked to Cole all the time; my room is so quiet in the evening now.

Further tire catastrophes have occurred lately, so I’m currently poor as a churchmouse and riding on four brand-spanking-new tires.  I didn’t realize how roughly my car had been riding until feeling how smoothly it drives now.  Sorry, old chap.

In happier news, the Langdons are having a big birthday bash at their farm on Saturday, and I’m leaving for Marquette, MI on Sunday, where wonderful adventures will be had.  Last week was rather full of local adventures; Sarah and I went to dinner at the Piebird (which was heavenly) and then saw Brigadoon at the Burning Coal Theatre, the same group that put on Henry V on trapeze.  Brigadoon wasn’t quite as good as Henry V (probably because there were no trapezes), but it was still very enjoyable and quite well-done.

Geekery:

Words:

Hilarity:

Music:

Books: After finishing up Aristotle, I started The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.  Finding a copy was astoundingly difficult.  I suppose it’s on required reading lists for quite a few schools, so all the students clear out the used book stores.  I had to check several places before I finally found one tattered 99-cent copy left at Mr. Mike’s Used Books in Cary.  I am madly in love with Steinbeck these days, and Wrath is brilliant in a very different way than East of Eden was brilliant.  Still puttering around with the Burns poetry on occasion, but I’m not working very hard at it.

This Wednesday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Krispy Kreme will give you a free doughnut if you do so!  Wednesday is also the screening of The Birds in cinemas, so if you don’t have a fabulous middle of the week, it’s probably your own fault.

While driving home on the highway from church on Saturday, Faith and I were chatting merrily away when there was an ominous thunk.  We thought something had fallen off of the car in front of us and hit us on the roof, but a moment later we heard some sort of tire-related problem.  I pulled off at the first exit and found a nice little church parking lot to inspect the damage.  Yep, flat tire.  I think I’ve been in high heels every time I’ve had to change a tire, and this was no exception.  I’ve never actually had to change a tire on my own car, and I was baffled; it didn’t look like any of the tires I’d changed on our mini vans.  It took about seven calls to my Dad (“How do I get the plate off?  The bolts are all weird!”) before I finally managed to get the tire off.  Embarrassing…but Faith was very patient.  After that, getting the spare on was easy, and we were back on our way in no time.

Paying for a new tire was a significantly more painful experience; those things ain’t cheap.  I swung by the repair shop after work and camped out in the waiting area while they examined Nickel’s poor wheel.  I’m reading Aristotle right now, so naturally I whipped that out rather than watch whatever insipid thing was blaring from the tv in the seating area.  The two men already seated there were watching the tv with great interest, and after a few minutes I chuckled to myself when I realized that they were glued to some talk show discussing female weight loss and body image.  It was the girliest, most vapid episode imaginable, and these two guys were just nodding along like, “Yes, you should love yourself at any size!”  Aristotle and I weren’t impressed, and the vast gulf between what I was reading and what I was hearing was almost ridiculous.  One guy left when his car was ready, but the other continued to watch…until the discussion turned to the sacred beauty of menstrual cycles or something, and then he started to squirm.  *I* was squirming and I was only hearing half of it.  He finally seemed to realize exactly what he was watching and got up to pretend to look at tires in an attempt to regain his masculinity.  Aristotle and I kept each other company until my tire was ready.

Geekery:

Beauty:

Hilarity:

Books: As you gathered from my above tire tale, I’m currently reading The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle.  I’ve read bits and pieces of Aristotle before, but I’ve never sat down and read one of his works cover-to-cover.  I’m finding him fascinating (in a very dense, dry fashion), thus far.  Reading books written so long ago (2,300 years, give or take) always makes me feel like I’m time-traveling; being able to read the thoughts of someone gone for two millennia seems like it shouldn’t be possible without a time machine.

I’m also reading The Poetical Works of Robert Burns.  Sam gave me a 100-year-old copy for my birthday, and at first I was carefully reading that one just while I was at home, but even that made me anxious.  The cover is hand-tooled leather and is so fragile that just touching it makes me feel guilty.  I found a PDF copy of it online (bless you, internet), and I’m reading that instead most of the time.  Burns is a hoot.  The book kicks off with some emo poetry he wrote as a teen, then some rather scathing rhymes about the girls in his area, and a hilarious one about the time he chatted with Death (who reminds me more than a little of Death in Terry Pratchett’s novels).  I haven’t made it very far yet (the book is almost 600 pages long), but so far it’s quite entertaining.

I had a lovely, long, Labor Day weekend!  One day some cohorts and I went exploring in the woods behind the Leesville Library, and we took our shoes off and waded along a creek deep into the woods and ran into some psychedelically orange mushrooms (which we did not consume, for the record).  It was raining almost the whole time, but we didn’t mind.  On Labor Day itself, I went to the Langdon farm with some more friends for venison chili, homemade pina colada ice cream, a walk in the woods picking wild grapes, games, and archery.  Returning to work was a somewhat wrenching process after such good times, but at least it was a lightning-fast four-day week.

Human beings are wonderful:

Geekery:

Know this:

Hilarity:

Music: I’ve been an ambivalent fan of Celtic Woman for a while; I certainly enjoy their sound and the musical talent, but I can’t help but find the theatricality of their shows to be vaguely ridiculous and slightly exploitative of whatever genuine Celtic culture remains out there.  I was unaware, however, of Celtic Thunder (apparently the male version of Celtic Woman), here performing “Caledonia.”  HILARIOUS.  They look like a Celtic boyband, all standing with their legs a bit too far apart and participating in what I presume was the best some poor choreographer could do to evoke a masculine twist on the whimsical prancing of Celtic Woman.  More ambivalence!  Now I’m torn between admiring their voices and laughing at Blondie in the back there.

Books: So, the East of Eden post is probably still on its way, but it may be a little while.  In the meantime, I’ll tell you about The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede, because I’m sure you’re just dying to know more.  Bede, an English monk, finished the History in 731 AD.  He’s generally considered to be the first English historian.  He wrote in Latin, of course, but my Latin is NOT up to that kind of challenge, so I’m reading a translation.  It’s no page-turner; most ecclesiastical writings from the 8th century aren’t, I expect.  But it is intriguing for those with an interest in British history.  Bede definitely has his biases.  He was quite the Pope Gregory fanboy, and in the book he copies many of the pope’s letters in their entirety.  Amusingly enough, one of the main heresies encountered again and again throughout several hundred years, and one that Bede takes very solemnly, is keeping Easter on different days.  Folks got into huge arguments about this, accusing one another of heinous apostasy.  Whole chapters are dedicated to this.  I got a kick out of Bede’s chastisement of the younger “generation of apathy,” and I also chuckled when Bede records a letter from 601 AD in which the author is convinced the end of the world and Christ’s return are coming very soon.  We haven’t really changed: we still get bees in our bonnets over minor issues, think that the end of civilization is obviously nigh due to the degenerate times we live in, and think that the younger generation is going to pot.

The BBC did a four-part Shakespeare miniseries called The Hollow Crown, consisting of four plays, including Henry V.  I adore Henry V with a burning passion, so I went ahead and watched that one even though it was the final part of the series.  Whoever chose which scenes to cut from the play should be fired, and the direction was pretty shoddy, but Tom Hiddleston (Loki of Thor and The Avengers) did an excellent job as Henry.  He did such a good job, in fact, that I decided to watch Henry IV parts 1 and 2, even though I’m not too fond of those plays.  That just left one episode of the miniseries, so I thought I might as well polish that off, but it was of Richard III, which I had never read.  I dutifully read the play, which had some wonderful lines, and moved on to the episode.  And was completely baffled.  Did they add scenes?  What is this stuff?  This doesn’t even sound like the same play—oops.  Looking more closely at the episode title, I realized it was actually Richard II.  Back to my Shakespeare book, then, because somehow I had never read Richard II either.  Nice to be back with the Bard, either way.

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

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