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:


Know this:


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.