Sherlock Holmes: “The Signs of Four” Chapter 1

Chapter 1: “The Science of Deduction”

Summary: Holmes is shooting up with cocaine because he’s bored. Watson is concerned, but Sherlock says he knows it’s bad for him but his mind needs stimulation. Then a girl stops by.

Reaction: I’m going to a little Sherlock–I guess as a break from stuff that’s long and deep. Also, season 2 of Sherlock Holmes on PBS will start this Sunday and I can’t wait. And I knew that Sherlock was supposed to be a drug user, but I didn’t realize how blatant it was. yuck.

Prediction:I can’t really predict anything yet. Sherlock will probably die an early death from those drugs though.

Why This Book Is a Classic: Classic drug use?…Though the way Sherlock shoots up seems modern to me. It was pretty graphic. But he does it to supposedly help his brain? And not as a drugged out shell? I guess?

Workout Playlist: 4/29-5/5

This is Rise Against week! It came up fast, probably because I spent so much of the last month sick. But my energy is back just in time to kill it to some RA and then rock out at the concert on Saturday with my friend Sara!

I need to start getting in more running to get trained for the Redlegs Run 10k in June, so I’m putting some treadmill work in here.

So here’s the list–again, all Rise Against:

  1. Jog/Warm-up on treadmill–“Survive”
  2. Lunges/Squats–“Blood to Bleed”
  3. Planks–“Collapse (Post-Amerika)”
  4. Box/Push-up–“A Gentleman’s Coup”
  5. Sprint on treadmill–“Re-education (Through Labor)”
  6. Bi/Tri Curls–“Tip the Scales”
  7. Crunches/Side (oblique) crunches–“Ready to Fall”
  8. Jumping Jacks–“Worth Dying For”
  9. Planks–“State of the Union”
  10. Cool Down–“Swing Life Away”

That’s it! Here’s to a great week!

Scorecard: Reds vs. Astros 4/29/12

Yesterday was a great game! I spent the whole game in a fancy restaurant in the ballpark, which was very fun. And we won, which was the biggest bonus. Today I got pictures with the players, and that was amazing! I’ll have to put some of them up once I get them uploaded!

Oh, and I drew my own scorecard this week–and I forgot to write the final score: 6-0 Reds Win!

War and Peace Saturday: Chapters 85-98

I have a lot of pages to cover from the past two weeks. I can’t say anything too exciting has taken place, though. We spent a lot of time with Pierre, who has come to a moral crisis. He’s feeling like is life has gone to waste and he’s a miserable excuse for a person when this stranger approaches him on the train and starts preaching to him. The guy turns out to be a Freemason, and gets Pierre converted. I don’t know much about Freemasons, except I think in the Disney treasure hunting movie with Nicholas Cage they were some kind cult that was hiding a secret treasure of gold and knowledge over the centuries, but I never actually believed that. They’d be a whole lot more interesting if they were, though. I’d be interested to know if Tolstoy was a Freemason and what his actual opinion on them was.

Anyway, Pierre is a just the simple mind they need to believe their convictions wholeheartedly–not that there’s anything inherently wrong with their convictions; it’s just a really drastic change for him. He leaves them wanting to free all his serfs and make life better for every poor person around him, but the people working for him just take his change of heart as an opportunity to take even more advantage of him than they already were, but he believes he’s made everyone’s lives better even though he’s really made their lives worse, and he’s happy.

Then he visits the Bolkonskis, and they all love him. I think his simple, optimistic outlook is refreshing for them–and the more jaded of the group really enjoy the chance to argue with him. Pierre would have been a great match for Andrew’s sister if he hadn’t already married that other chick because she’s just as simple and religiously convicted as he is.

Then there’s Andrew. He’s completely changed since his time in the war and since his wife died. The war is going on as fierce as ever, but he doesn’t want anything to do with it. He claims to be living just for himself and not to please anyone else, but he seems completely miserable. Poor Andrew.

And that was about it this week. I’ll finally make it to the 100 chapter mark next week. Yay!

Bleak House: Chapters 65-67

Chapters 65-The End: “Beginning the World”; “Down in Lincolnshire”; “The Close of Esther’s Narrative”

Summary: Court is back in session and Jarndyce v Jarndyce is finally finished. The bad news is that all the battled-over inheritance was spent up in court costs. Richard is relieved it’s over, but he’s sick and spent. Esther and co. plan to take him and his family to stay at her new house. Elsewhere, at Chesney Wold, everything is calm and boring. Sir Leicester isn’t as fun as he used to be, but the good people in his life are still around and life goes on. Finally, Esther is settled in her new home (it’s 7 years later). Richard died, but Ada had a Richard Jr., and Esther has had 2 kids too, and they all live together, and Mr. J is there all the time and everyone is very happy. The End!

Reaction: It was a good book. Lots of great characters and lots of unique ones, and some villains too. Mystery, intrigue, and all that was good too. Overall it was a great read!

Why This Book Is a Classic: Well, it was long and epic, covering a large cast of characters that were fleshed out when needed. It was funny and tragic and it satirized the problems of his day but has echoes into our day. It is definitely a classic.

Bleak House: Chapters 63-64

Chapters 63-64: “Steel and Iron”; “Esther’s Narrative”

Summary: George reunites with his brother and is offered a job, but he says that he’s decided to stay at Chesney Wold with his mom. Then Mr. Jarndyce has Esther come to a special house he’s had set up for Mr. Woodcourt. After showing it off and how it looks almost exactly like Bleak House (and he’s even called it Bleak House), Mr. J reveals that instead of marrying him she will marry Woodcourt–except it was sweeter than that and up to her, not forced, and Esther is so happy. Then Guppy proposes and Mr. J tells him no for Esther and Mrs. Guppy gets very angry and it’s very funny.

Reaction: It was all very sweet and satisfying, and funny too.

Prediction: I am now ending this section for this book–because I finished this book and have nothing left to predict. Yay!

Why This Book Is a Classic: Arranged marriage…sort of. Technically Mr. J is just setting E up with the guy she’s already in love with, but it’s still kind of an arranged marriage.

Our Lesson: Happy endings! Yay, everything is looking so nice…and I think I’m going to end this section too because everything from now on is just wrap up

Bleak House: Chapters 61-62

Chapters 61-2: “A Discovery”; “Another Discovery”

Summary: Esther tells Skimpole not to visit Richard anymore and he seems to agree, then we are done with Skimpole! Woodcourt confesses to Esther that he is very much in love with her, but she turns him down because she’s already promised Mr. Jarndyce. Then, Esther and Mr. J plan their wedding–the next month. Mr. Bucket turns up with Mr. Smallweed and announces that a new will has been found that could really move Jarndyce v Jarndyce along, but Mr. J doesn’t care. Court will go back in session the next month.

Reaction: Thank god we are done with Skimpole. He was so annoying. And the Woodcourt confession was so sweet–definitely not unexpected, but sweet.

Prediction: More and more is wrapping up. Upon reading this I still didn’t believe the book was closed on Woodcourt. I knew Mr. J was too smart and kind to ignore true love.

Why This Book Is a Classic: Classic love confession. Love confessions happen all the time in books, but there’s something special about one told in this style.

Our Lesson: Don’t settle. Believe in yourself! Love is out there!