Thursday, August 18, 2011


My sort-of goal for myself this month was to read 10 books. It didn't matter what they were. And I was going to include the National Geographic magazines that I had to catch up with.

I'm not sure I'm going to make it.

The reason for making the goal in the first place was to try to fit in more time for reading. After college, it just seemed harder to actually sit down and pick up a book and focus on it. College gave me bad reading habits. I learned how to scan. I learned more in less time, but forgot it more quickly than from a slower, deeper reading.

So I'm trying to teach myself to really read again. Fiction, non-fiction, whatever. So. This month I've read:

Beowulf. I loved it. Unfortunately, I can't remember off the top of my head who did this particular translation. Oh wait...Burton Raffel. (Behold the powers of Google!) It was quite good. I think he was aiming more for poetry than historical accuracy. I appreciate poetry, but love me some history as well, so while I definitely enjoyed it, it might not be my first pick. Not to say it was inaccurate, it was just odd how he interpreted some of the names and such. Like Heorot turned to Herot, and Edgetheo turned to Egtho. I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

I also finished my 2 back-issues of the National Geographic. They're pretty much book-length anyway, so I counted them. Always fun, there were some good articles. It's interesting to see the different slants that different writers take. Nat. Geo. has a definite bias, but it can manifest itself differently in various authors...or not at all.

And I'm working my way thru "1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeaux Tapestry" by Andrew Bridgeford. I'm trying to make myself more knowledgeable about Saxon stuff in general. Of course. Because as much as I love being a Saxon in the SCA, I keep finding that there are so many basic things I don't actually know, that I should. So I'm working on it. This is actually a fascinating book, and while some of his arguments might seem a bit lacking, what he says does have sense. At least in my limited knowledge. It also has the benefit of being easy to read. :D

We'll see how far I get on my goal. I've only got 2 weeks left!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cut You Down

So I've been listening to some of my old favorites on a youtube playlist this morning: Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, etc. Mostly just background, as I'm working, but I stopped to actually watch the video for one of the songs: "God's Gonna Cut You Down," by Johnny Cash. I've heard the song before, but I started wondering as I listened, because it almost sounds like an old black gospel style song. So I backed it up and watched the whole thing. (link here: ).

And the lyrics in the chorus:

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down

I'm really curious what the video producers had in mind when they made this video. Basically, it shows images of celebrities from ZZ Top, to Pink, to Kid Rock, to Justin Timberlake, Johnny Depp, Bono, and others, mixed with Christian symbolism. Naturally, a lot of the comments on the video were about how such horrible people didn't deserve to be on the video, and that the producers completely missed the point of the song. However, I think most of the commenters missed the point.

The song isn't about God sending people to hell. It's about redemption, for everyone, no matter what you've done. It's about asking forgiveness. I think Cash thought a lot about forgiveness. He had a lot in common with many of the celebrities that we like to spurn today. He was a hard drinker, he was a drug addict, he was a womanizer. And then he found redemption. I think if you don't understand where Cash was coming from with this song, you might see it as a warning; a picture of hell to scare people into behaving. I don't think that's right.

I think it's a picture of broken people who want to be redeemed. I think it's a song for everyone.

Friday, February 18, 2011

In Retrospect...

...I should have applied for the wrangler job.

Next time I apply for a job, remind me that I want motion, interaction with the living, and variety.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I just discovered this fabulous website. Perusing just the first page, there are at least a dozen tutorials that I would love to make use of!

And it's fun seeing how many different directions one can go with historical geekiness.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just for Reflection

A friend posted this to Facebook. I giggled, paused for reflection, and giggled some more. So now you can do the same!

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions, I make Every Day Resolutions. One of them: making fewer snap judgments about people. We all like to think we are modern, open minded people, but I've noticed that we ALL tend to do this, no matter how open-minded we think we are. I'd like to start being more accepting of people from social circles outside of my own, without automatically assuming they can have nothing to say that will interest me.

I'd also like to be more motivated. This one is simpler, but probably harder!

Any Every Day Resolutions of your own?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Because Everybody's Doing It

I guess I should blog about the New Year, since everyone else is, eh?
While there are a lot of wonderful things to look forward to in 2011, I'm not sure I'm ready for 2010 to be done. I mean, I still haven't figured it out. Did it have a theme, or a particular direction? Surely there wasn't time for that, it only started yesterday, didn't it? I'd say that for 2011 I hope to be more observant of my days as they slip past me, in order to somehow make better sense of my life, but that doesn't happen. I'm kinda too busy living in my life to actually understand it. God-willing, the years will only improve with time, with or without my understanding.
And I've stolen the following benediction from Neil Gaiman's blog, as there really isn't a whole lot else that can or should be said, besides that, and my own brief addition at the very end:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."

And may God grant us peace and love in all the years to come.