Category Archives: tolstoy

2 months

so… the posts become more spread out. 🙂

Today, on our second month anniversary, I can happily report that thank you notes have all been written. *phew!*

Also, not sure if how much I’ve mentioned this, but at the end of last year, I transitioned to a new position at work. I’m now a Web Developer. It’s been a challenge (and occasionally, easy), but also fun.

This last week I’ve been making huge progress forward in learning and working with PHP. We had a training class (where I got 100% on the worksheet) and a practice project. The practice project is not completely done, but it did give me an opportunity to use “Pennies for Debra” as my ‘client’. (The current count by the way is 9252.)

Other than that, I’m busy looking forward to the Mariner’s baseball season starting. Less than a month until Pitchers and catchers report.

Lastly, no, I haven’t finished War & Peace yet. I did however start reading book 13 in the Wheel of Time series.

OH. one more thing – don’t forget the Shamrock Shake. It’s almost that season again. Please contact McDonalds and help us get the Shake in Texas.


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Filed under mariners, marriage, pennies for debra, reading, seattle, shamrock shake, technology, tolstoy, wedding

One month down

We’ve made it one month. 🙂 We are quite enjoying this new phase of life and adventure of being married.

As we head into the Christmas week (which has completely snuck up on us!) we are continuing to putts around the house, organizing, throwing things out, combining, cleaning, and getting settled into our Home.

We are also wrapping up loose ends on wedding things, like pictures and thank you notes (I addressed 135 envelopes today.) I get the week between Christmas and new years off, so hopefully those extra days will help us get a little more accomplished, but also have some time of rest.

Other than that – I’ve finally picked up War & Peace again. See 5 years ago… or again 3 years ago… This time I am already 150 pages in (about 1 / 10 of the way through) and I am finding it quite enjoyable.

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Filed under christmas, marriage, tolstoy

Currently Reading

Now that I don’t have to read textbooks (although, I am planning on reading a few books for school this summer) I have been able to pick up a book by one of my favorite writers, Philip Yancey. I am reading “Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church” Basically, he tells the story of his journey of faith and how when his church was not very Christlike, other sources redirected and pushed him in his faith.

Just a sampling of the people he writes about are Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Leo Tolstoy, Feodor Dostoevsky, Henri Nouwen, and G.K. Chesterton, just to name a few.

I really like the way Yancey writes and he seems to touch on tons of people and topics and books that I have come across in my studies both in Undergrad and now Grad school.

I think I bought this book about two or so years ago and after reading almost halfway through, I stopped after reading about Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and opted to read some of there works instead. That was back when I read “Anna Karenina”

This time, I started over and have now passed where I read to previously. I will finish the book and I am quite enjoying it, but I have been re-inspired to get going on my Russian novels. I started “Brothers Karamazov” and “War and Peace” but have finished neither. Perhaps this will be the season I am successful in reading those as well.

If you are looking for some good reading, I recommend Yancey. To date, I have read “What’s so Amazing about Grace” and “The Jesus I Never Knew” Both are fantastic. At this point being about half into the book, I would probably recommend “Soul Survivor” as well.

Off I go to clean so that I can have time to read!


Filed under dostoevsky, reading, theology, tolstoy

Tolstoy & Dostoevsky

Well, I just bought a couple of more books on e-bay. My next Tolstoy attempt will be War & Peace. First though, I will read Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. While I wait for them to come in the mail, I have now returned to my Favorite book.

It Begins like this:

“When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton” (Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien)

It just grabs you and says “READ ME!”


Filed under dostoevsky, literature, lord of the rings, tolkien, tolstoy

Life from a lefty

I have resumed my attempt to learn to write with my left hand. I practiced this during college when class was really boring and I did not have to take notes. I am almost to the point of not having to think at all when I pick up a writing utensil. Now that’s Progress!

Hear something hilarious the other day on the radio. It was an advertisement for a restaurant. They were trying to explain that the menu is very large, lots of selection. They said, in loose quotation: “It [the menu] goes on & on, just like a Russian novel…and so full of rich character.
I Laughed so hard! I guess this was not intended to be funny, but after taking forever to get through Anna Karenina, it was so funny to me. Totally worth the hard read just to be able to laugh at this commercial. I think I am going to get a copy of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoveysky to begin on my trip to Chicago.


Filed under chicago, dostoevsky, tolstoy, travel


I finally finished Anna Karenina. A difficult read, but a good one. Turns out I already knew what happened to Anna. I heard someone on a TV show talking about a Tolstoy book, about a girl, and about a particular outcome of that book. Anna Karenina ended up being the book they were discussing.

There are two opposite characters. They both pursue life passionately, but in different directions. The first character sees the world in full color, everything is alive, Love is everywhere. BUT, this character chooses to live for them self. Due to their selfish, self serving choices, the world they once viewed with some much brightness and joy slowly down spins into a world without any meaning at all.

The second character starts out in a very gray world. This character thinks too hard, reasons too much and cannot come to any conclusion on why life contains meaning. This character, though in a theological/philosophical haze, chooses to serve others. They live for the gain of others and as the book continues, this character’s world becomes one of joy and color full of Deep meaning. Also important to this character is trying to understand why people of faith can walk away from reason, yet still find meaning in life.

If you have not read the book, I recommend it.


Filed under literature, tolstoy


So I have been on a huge reading kick lately. I have always loved to read, but for some reason I have not read very many of the “classics” or Current Best Sellers.

This spring I started Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. I have enjoyed the plot, but some times get so bored by the Characters thought (which go on, and on, and on) that I quit reading the book for about 4 months. I just picked it up again and realized that because I am almost 1/2 done with an 800 page book, I really need to finish it.

As most others in recent years, I have now read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I wanted to read them before I watched the movies. I would have to say that Tolkien is now my favorite author. His contemporary, CS Lewis, has been on of my favorite for years. I read the chronicles of Narnia several years ago. (and am eargarly awaiting this December!)

I also attempted Sense & Sensibility and Emma by Jane Austin. Saw the movies, but have yet to finish either book.

Harry Potter, here’s a fun one. I have heard the hype for years, but only when book 6 came out did I finally read any. I bought the first five in a box set. LOVED THEM, and 18 days after starting book one, I had finished all 6. (yes, I need a life to fill up all this time, that was over 3300 pages of reading)

And finally, Another highly anticipated book came out yesterday. Eldest the second book in the Inheritance trilogy. the first book Eragon was written when the author was only 15 yrs old. I only read book one in may. I recommend this one. yes, it is kind of a kids book, but still enjoyable.

Looking back at this list of books, it only confirms that I love the fantasy genre. I think it is because I love the epic tale of good vs. evil.

Plus, I think that each of our lives, in reality, are part of an Epic tale. I often view life very “in the now” but reading such fairy tales reminds me that there are elements of the story that reflect how things really are. And I think it is helpful to the “good” and hurtful to the “evil” if I keep this in mind and live accordingly.


Filed under good vs. evil, harry potter, jane austen, literature, narnia, reading, tolkien, tolstoy