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AnSionnachRua  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: You all are great!

Well I do try

I spent most of February reading Gravity's Rainbow. I had to because I started it in January and kept reading lighter books instead - it's one of those books you don't really want to read at the end of the day. It was interesting, but I don't feel at all enticed to read more of Pynchon's work. That kind of overwhelming style makes me go "hmm" but not much else; it's just not my cup of tea. I was surprised by how funny parts of it were, though.

I read The Shallows, parts of which make you think "shit, this perfectly describes my behaviour". I was expecting him to talk more about reward-system hijacking and addiction and so on; I was pleasantly surprised when he discussed it more from the angle of memory and attention span, particularly with reference to reading deeply. I've tried to reduce my internet usage since. A bit.

I also read the first Harry Potter book... In Italian! This is the first time I've read a book in a language other than English or Irish. And I understood what was going on, even if I had to consult the dictionary a lot; it was reading, as opposed to decipherment. Okay, it's for eight year olds, but I'm fairly chuffed with myself.

Right now I'm about a third of the way through Moby-Dick, which I really didn't expect to be so funny (especially the earlier sections) and the dreaded cetology section was all of ten pages long.

But I was still slogged enough by it to start reading Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, part of the Locke Lamora books. I don't read a lot of fantasy but I read the first two of them years ago and they have a warm place in my heart. I especially like that it basically takes place in magical Venice instead of the usual fantasy worlds.

I also read a book about octopuses, but it was only okay.

The whole latin-x thing is a bit funky, though, because the entire language is gender-based, every noun being either male or female. Then again, I suppose the issue is mainly with words used to refer to people, like a mixed group automatically being referred to using the male noun. The rest of it is fairly arbitrary, maybe.

Does Dutch have gender?

But yeah, they and their are used all the time with a singular meaning. I actually think they is more "felicitous" than he or she, which sounds clunky. Themself looks awkward, but as the author points out it'd become normal over time. Really I can get behind this usage of they, even as someone with reservations about the profusion of gender identities.

AnSionnachRua  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 7, 2018

Hola granola! No beer for me, fellas; I'm off the sauce for Lent. Though I'm going to a birthday party the weekend after next, so there's a chance my resolve will break just as I'm about to enter the home stretch. We'll see.

I woke up today feeling like my brain had been replaced with lead, because I didn't get to sleep until around five in the morning. At one-ish I started reading Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings, got about fifty pages in, and decided I wasn't going to finish it. Too much "Xkrymia gingerly picked up the Thunderfang, forged in the purple hills of Zemydon where the milkbeasts roam, being careful to use only his left hand, because using the right would make his soul break into twenty-nine pieces". Then I opened Forgotten Beasts of Eld and made it as far as the prologue. I tried The Three-Body Problem but couldn't swallow the physics professor's weird second-person brainspeech to his wife about Einstein. Gardens of the Moon put me off because of the author's own claims in the preface about the ambitious scope of his work, but I did proceed to the text itself and was put off by the world-building efforts (i.e. dropping lots of weird names and replacing profanities with phrases like "Kamalon's beard!"; I know it only makes sense that they wouldn't say "Jesus Christ!" when they stub a toe, but it all feels very forced).

I was trying to read a little more fantasy and sci-fi, to diversify my reading a little. Maybe they're just not for me. To think that I've recently been feeling pangs of guilt for downloading these off of libgen; now I'm glad I didn't buy them. In the past I've rarely stopped reading books; usually once I'm a few pages in, I feel that need to see it through. I've come to realise that there's a limited amount of books one can read, so you might as well make them ones you really want to; anything else is a timesink.

So I switched tack and moved onto The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins, and while it sounded fascinating, I realised after ten pages that I didn't particularly want to read another five hundred on the subject. Which led me to move on to the shorter and snappier The Soul of an Octopus, and the decision soon after that I really should try to sleep.

I was bogged down in January with a pain in my left knee; the discomfort was less annoying than the constraints it put on my physical movement. I haven't been out to climb Croagh Patrick but once since. Thankfully, a couple of weeks ago, the time - and a few funny-looking but effective stretches I found online - seemed to have cured it. Then I started doing some barefoot walks to strengthen my soles, and experimented with different walking forms - enough to give myself peroneal tendonitis. So that's great. I'm chasing pain around my body just as I'm freaking out that I only have a few months to prepare myself for this:

It took me about four days to make that in, so don't judge it too harshly. Gonna put it up on the auld Facebook page in the next few days. My main concern now (other than actually getting fit) is organising accomodation along the way. Luckily a friend of mine has agreed to do the driving. Some of you might laugh at the "mountains" (only one of them is over 1000m), but look here - in Ireland, that's what we have for mountains.

I have no other news. Oh yeah, I've been doing a little bit more writing on My Book About That Walk I Did Nearly Two Years Ago Now: God, There's A Depressing Thought and have made it as far as finishing a first draft of... chapter three.

There is no hope for me, my friends.

Accounts like yours make me maddeningly curious to try mushrooms. I took a small dose of truffles in Amsterdam, and while laughing for 20 minutes at a hamburger was quite therapeutic, it only made me want to try actual mushrooms more.

They're apparently quite common in Ireland at the right time of year, but unfortunately look very similar to ones that just give you the shits, or cause liver failure.

    I'm neither a crypto defender or an economist, but I don't agree with either of these statements. I'd say money is supposed to be a store of wealth, and the hottest investment is a store of wealth.

The distinction often seems to rest on how much if it you have.

I didn't realize you guys were married, so congrats! I think that kind of calmness probably goes further.

That's a good point. The whole idea of "dating" is becoming more common here but it's very much seen as an American invention.

Aye but also depends on whether you're actively searching for someone or not, in which case you're probably more likely to have "demands" than if you happen to develop mutual feelings with someone who is already part of your life somehow.

So naturally it depends on the person, and for many the stage they're at in their life (people often talk about women who really want kids - it's time sensitive, so you'd better find someone and get hitched).

AnSionnachRua  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 17, 2018

You can do it, rd! Smash em!

AnSionnachRua  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 17, 2018

We're between you and Germany on the scale.

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