Okay so school and all that has got me wicked stressed. The slowing down that I hoped would happen has not happened. Previously lamented difficulties persist. I’m getting the day to day stuff done, but the bigger stuff – the stuff that should be counted as day to day stuff but isn’t, in my head I mean – is not getting done and that makes me tense. And chronic stress is like, real bad for you. I don’t remember the details and that too is stressful (known health hazard the degree of hazardousness of which is not known!). This is not helped by my counting recently and figuring I think I do about 15 or so hours of ‘political work’ per month in a normal-ish month. That’s enough to make me feel more tense, and yet low enough to make me feel guilty for not spending more time, for getting irritated over that relatively small quantity, and even for counting.

So I felt kind of tense when I got home tonight, as all of this was running through my head along side a chorus of “not enough accomplished today…!” This is part of why I’m up, blogging off the stress so I can get to sleep soonish so I can get up early enough to really rock the work tomorrow (before my political meeting in the evening, damn it…!)

What I got home from, though, was unmitigated good fun.

It was a “read Beowulf out loud” gathering. A friend of mine is teaching Beowulf soon-ish and thought this would be helpful prep, plus it was an excuse to get together. I like this friend and in general pretty much anything done with my wife is fun cuz she’s hilarious and just fun to be around, so I figured it would be a nice time. I did not figure, however, that it would be a really, really nice time.

It was sort of like a nerdier version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with a book instead of a movie. I learned several new phrases which I will type here later when it is not so dark in my apartment and I can find the copy of the book. Man is Beowulf ever wordy. He give speech after speech after speech. Then at one point, he gets home and he’s like “I fought this bad ass monster and I totally took him down,” for like a really long time then he adds “and by the way the Swedes or whoever are going to violate the peace agreement or whatever because they’re probly scheming on each other but I’m not going to say more because it would take too long, so anyway, this bad ass monster Grendel? I totally wasted him,” and he goes on forEVER about it. It make the “it would take too long” part really funny. Also funny is when he’s dying from his dragon wounds at the end and is like “bring me the dragon’s treasure so I can look at it, I want to die while staring at some gold, that will make it all better.” I have to say, the phrase “wound-slurry” has to be one of the grossest terms I’ve ever heard. And sometimes individual lines which probably weren’t written to be funny can be very funny if delivered very matter of factly.

Had great split pea soup and home-made bread and tarts too, and the occasion-appropriate Old English malt liquor, and several people were quite good conversationalists which is always a bonus.