You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2013.

This week was busy in an unexceptional way, as I was working most of my waking moments.  My first big editing job is done, however, and this coming week should be a bit more relaxed.  Saturday was quite entertaining, since I was able to get together with a lovely mob of people at my parents’ house.  My uncle is visiting from the upper peninsula of Michigan, and he tells incredible stories of more wacky hijinks than most people could manage to squeeze into two lifetimes.

Check out The 5 Worst Pieces of Advice You’re Given in Your 20s, written by my friend Jo.




Books: I finished Everlasting Man and am working on Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley.  I usually enjoy McKinley’s fairy tale retellings, and this one, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, is even better than some of her others.  She’s so good at making fairy tales realistic that sometimes the magical parts feel intrusive, but Spindle’s End strikes just the right blend of normality and the fantastic.  She shouldn’t be able to make me worry so much about the end to a story I already know by heart, but she does.

Snow today!  Throws a wrench in some of my plans, but it’s beautiful, and I enjoyed a good frolic in it earlier.  Now I’m thinking it’s a good afternoon for a cup of hot chocolate and a nap.

Other than philosophy group and a photoshoot session at the arboretum with Sarah, not many interesting happened this week.  Oh, except that Gentry was a womanizing jerk and flirted shamelessly with another dog right in front of his girlfriend, Greta.  He wouldn’t even look at Greta, who was beside herself with fury.  The next day she threw him into the side of a truck twice when they were playing, so he’s paying for his indiscretion.





Books: I recently finished The Kanteletar, which is a collection of Finnish folk songs and poetry  compiled by Elias Lönnrot, the same fellow who compiled Finland’s epic, The Kalevala.  The works vary widely in age, as many of the poems have been passed down in folklore for hundreds of years, but Elias compiled them in the 1800s. I’m a big fan of Finnish poetry and mythology, but I get the feeling not a lot of other folks are these days, outside of Finland; getting my hands on a copy of The Kanteletar took some work.  Most Finnish poetry is written in trochaic tetrameter, which is the same foot used in Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha,” and the effect is hypnotic, especially in longer works like the The Kalevala.  Kanteletar means (more or less) “zither-daughter,” a sort of muse.  Some of the poems are beautiful, some are just bizarre outside of context, and they’re all intriguing.

Our philosophy group is back in action, and we’re reading The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton.  I’ve been meaning to read Chesterton for ages and ages and somehow never quite got around to reading a single word of his until now.  Of course, now I’m kicking myself for not getting to him sooner.  He’s brilliant, and his work is engendering great discussion.  I can see why Lewis found him so compelling; he lays his arguments out in a very Lewisian style, though Chesterton is more prone to making less-substantiated claims than the more cautious Lewis.  I would love to get the two of them in a room and just listen to whatever they had to say to each other.

Anne Elisabeth very kindly featured an interview with me on her blog, Tales of Goldstone Wood!  Check it out to learn more details about my life than you ever wanted to know. ; )

On Thursday I had a wonderful time with friends at Humble Pie, listening to live jazz by Peter Lamb and the Wolves.  Parking misadventures notwithstanding, I enjoyed the outing, which is true of most of my Raleigh excursions.  Live jazz is rapidly becoming one of my very favorite things, and this group is particularly talented.

Would anyone be interested in going to hear Caspian on the 16th?  I still haven’t found a soul who is free to go with me, and if there’s a way to attend a concert by oneself and not feel awkward and pathetic, I have not yet discovered it.  Help a girl out here, people.

Know this:


Books: I just finished A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which is the first of his Martian books.  I’ve read one of the later books in the series, so it was nice (and much less confusing) to begin at the beginning.  Burroughs, bless him, doesn’t bother to explain at all how exactly his hero reaches Mars; the book may take place on a different planet, but there is no science to speak of in this fiction.  Fine by me, in this case: the book is a rip-snorting, pulp-fiction good time that makes no claims whatsoever to scientific accuracy, which is refreshing in a way. The novel is about imaginative possibility, not scientific possibility, and it’s endearing enough that it doesn’t annoy me with its implausible action scenes.

Big news lately!  I’m now an associate editor for Stengl Editing!  To say I’m excited is a massive understatement.  As a second job, this certainly beats retail work at Target.  I’m already hard at work on my first editing project, and so far everything is going swimmingly.

The Tir Na Nog gathering was every bit as marvelous as I’d hoped, and afterwards we had a grand time hanging out at the apartment.  Sarah made a Thai iced tea cake with a maple pecan glaze, which was out of this world, as you might well imagine.  The cake was also surprisingly hearty; I’ve been working on trying to finish it for ages because it’s so filling.  Like lembas, one piece keeps a full-grown man going for days.  This is cake for the apocalypse, and I can imagine a group of people celebrating with this before going out to kill zombies.  In a dystopian future, you need a cake that sticks to your ribs, and none of your typical frosted fluff.  Sarah excels at improbable yet delicious recipes; I bet she could make a great roast out of radiation-mutated giant rats.  I definitely want her on my side in the event of a collapse of civilization.  She came over on Wednesday to teach us how to make tiramisu, which was equal parts fun and delicious.





Books: Sam gave me a gorgeous copy of Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure by Arthur Conan Doyle. What a neat look into Doyle’s life!  The book includes facsimiles of the diary itself, so you can read the story in Doyle’s own handwriting (sometimes with a quill pen, sometimes with a fountain pen).  He made a lot of illustrations, most of which are gory depictions of seal and whale hunting, but with occasional, beautiful drawings of ships or the crew members.  In 1880 when Doyle sailed, the whaling industry was already waning, but it was still the livelihood of quite a few coastal towns, and the diary is a fascinating look at a time period that’s difficult to imagine today.

I’ve just finished Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, which everyone but me seems to have read in high school.  It was well done, but not amazingly so.  Maybe I’m just biased because the main character spends the majority of the time being completely unlikable (I know, I know, that’s the point).  I also got the impression it contained more pop psychology than actual, scientifically supported information, but I’m probably just being too picky.  The ending was still good, if predictably very sad.

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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