On Thursday I went to the opening night for As You Like It, which was hilariously entertaining.  If you’re in the area, you should check it out!  My  roommate is one of the Forest Lords, and you’ll be greatly amused by the unique way the production handles some of the characters.

My boss sent out a company-wide email asking us to “join him in saving lives” by going to a blood drive on Monday.  I signed up and dutifully arrived at the Red Cross facility to save those lives…alone.  Not a single employee showed up, not even my boss.  I actually had a pretty fun time (or as much fun as you can have while being exsanguinated) because my fellow donors were such interesting folk.  One young guy, who was trying desperately to be macho but was clearly very nervous, nearly passed out and was fussed over by several nurses while he sheepishly sipped juice.  A tiny boy, whose mother was giving blood, struck up a conversation with me about his dog, monsters, and school, respectively.  He thought highly of the first two and rather less of the latter.  With so many interesting things going on, I wasn’t paying attention to my own blood bag, and it was full surprisingly fast.  The nurse told me admiringly, “You bleed REALLY well.”  I asked if that was a good or bad thing, and she said I had great veins, but I better never get stabbed.  They couldn’t get me to stop bleeding for a while, and I ended up getting a fancy bandage and stern instructions not to lift anything heavy lest I start leaking again.  Exciting times.

This weekend I’m going to attempt again to see the free Mutemath performance at State’s Packapalooza.  My first attempt last Saturday was really pathetic.  Somehow I got the idea in my head that the concert was on the 17th instead of the 24th, and I dutifully drove to State, found parking, and wandered around in the rain looking for a concert.  It was pitiful, let me tell you, and somewhat disconcerting since while I make other types of mistakes constantly, dates are my THING and I rarely mess those up.

I saw the fox again near Walnut Street while I was running.  I really hope he doesn’t get hit by a car; I think we’re really bonding.


Books: I reread As You Like It in preparation for seeing the play, since it had been a quite a few years since I last sauntered through the forest of Arden.  What a fun comedy!  I appreciate Shakes’ wit more and more all the time.

The Stranger by Albert Camus has been on my to-read list for years, not because I’m particularly fond of absurdist literature but because it’s a classic and Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature, so there has to be something going on there.  He was awarded the prize for “his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times,” and so far as it goes, I’ll buy that.  He’s earnest, all right.  And if you consider human apathy and the meaninglessness of life to be particularly troubling to the human conscience of today, he definitely turns the spotlight on them.  If, like me, you do not believe in the inherent meaninglessness of life, and you find human apathy repulsive,  cowardly, and something to fight against, you’ll probably be pretty irritated by The Stranger.  I’m glad I read it to get a glimpse at this type of philosophy, and I’m glad I never have to read it again.

If you were to imagine the exact opposite of The Stranger, you would probably come up with a book something like Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder–reading the two books simultaneously was fascinating.  Wilder’s collection of essays, written before she wrote her famous books, is a beautiful and educational look into the life and times of Wilder, and many of her thoughts, although almost 100 years old, are perfectly applicable today.  Wilder advocates personal responsibility, hard work, thrift, and joy in everything.  Camus says nothing has importance; Wilder says everything has importance.  If you judge a philosophy by the quality of the lives of those who hold it, Wilder is undoubtedly the winner, and I’ll take her musings over Meursault’s vapidity any day.