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Well, it's become pretty obvious that I don't update this section too often anymore. That's partially due to me being really busy the past month or so, and partially due to me basically not giving two poops about this section. I've sorta become sick of how it looks and how antiquated it is and how it's not web-based and therefore I only post on it when I'm on a certain computer (one that I rarely use anymore). That sounds like a roundabout explanation with some laziness mixed in, and it is.

Now, though, I'm officially on holiday break for the year and I'm going to do my best to redesign this thing and relaunch it sometime in the near future. I'm going to try to keep myself really busy and occupied during the two weeks that I have off, including getting some exercise, working on music, reading, writing and re-doing this thing. I already have an idea in mind, so it's just a matter of sitting down and implementing it at this point (which still might take awhile given the route I want to go). At any rate, if you stick around, it might get better...

This last week, I finished reading my first book in well over a month. It was an epic slog through Rising Up and Rising Down : Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom and Urgent Means by William Vollmann. Because I am a wimp (and because I didn't want to spend the money yet on the out-of-print volumes), I bought the abridged version of what was originally a 7-volume, 3500 page opus that scared me just a bit. The abridged version was a more tolerable 730 pages, and like all abridgements, I felt like I was definitely missing things in places. Due to the condensed nature of the book, it felt more jumpy, although the general ideas were still in place. It's not an easy read, for sure, with references to all sorts of historical volumes and events that I have a limited knowledge of. I've never been a great student of history, and this book made me feel like a complete idiot in places due to my lack of understanding of certain regions of the world and probably what should be known. At any rate, it's an intense book, and Vollmann looks at and analyzes everything from self-defense to suicide to slavery, torture, genocide, and war. At some point down the road, I may splurge and buy and read the entire set, but first I need to fill some gaps in my brain that would help me connect and synthesize the information that he presents better. With this book, I've officially read 28 books and nearly 8500 pages worth of material this year. My goal is to finish a book a week these next two weeks of the year to make an even 30 (and over 9000 pages). No sleeping in for me (at least, not much).

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